Neurotropin, an extract from the inflamed skin of vaccinia virus-inoculated rabbits, has been observed clinically to be effective for treating pain in patients with lumbago, SMON and other neuropathies. In the present study, we examined the mechanism of the antinociceptive effect of neurotropin in mice in relation to administration routes, opioids, and noradrenergic or GABAergic drugs, by the tail pressure method. The antinociceptive effects of neurotropin were large when administered by the i.p. and intracisternal (i.cist.) routes, but comparatively small in the case of the intrathecal (i.th.) route. Neurotropin may thus act at the supraspinal level rather than on the spinal cord. The antinociceptive effect of neurotropin was not blocked by naloxone, and no cross-tolerance developed between neurotropin and morphine. The effect of neurotropin was blocked by phentolamine and reserpine, but not by atropine. Its effect was enhanced by GABA, muscimol, aminooxyacetic acid and diaminobutyric acid, but not by baclofen, and blocked by bicuculline methiodide. From these results, the antinociceptive action of neurotropin appears to be non-opioid in nature, and may possible be mediated by the noradrenergic and GABAergic systems, but unrelated to the cholinergic system.
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