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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of spinal NMDA receptors, protein kinase C and nitric oxide synthase in the hyperalgesia induced by magnesium deficiency in rats.

1. Magnesium (Mg)-deficient rats develop a mechanical hyperalgesia which is reversed by a N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. Given that functioning of this receptor-channel is modulated by Mg, we wondered whether facilitated activation of NMDA receptors in Mg deficiency state may in turn trigger a cascade of specific intracellular events present in persistent pain. Hence, we tested several antagonists of NMDA and non-NMDA receptors as well as compounds interfering with the functioning of intracellular second messengers for effects on hyperalgesia in Mg-deficient rats. 2. Hyperalgesic Mg-deficient rats were administered intrathecally (10 microl) or intraperitoneally with different antagonists. After drug injection, pain sensitivity was evaluated by assessing the vocalization threshold in response to a mechanical stimulus (paw pressure test) over 2 h. 3. Intrathecal administration of MgSO4 (1.6, 3.2, 4.8, 6.6 micromol) as well as NMDA receptor antagonists such as MK-801 (0.6, 6.0, 60 nmol), AP-5 (10.2, 40.6, 162.3 nmol) and DCKA (0.97, 9.7, 97 nmol) dose-dependently reversed the hyperalgesia. Chelerythrine chloride, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor (1, 10.4, 104.2 nmol) and 7-NI, a specific nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor (37.5, 75, 150 micromol x kg(-1), i.p.) induced an anti-hyperalgesic effect in a dose-dependent manner. SR-140333 (0.15, 1.5, 15 nmol) and SR-48968 (0.17, 1.7, 17 nmol), antagonists of neurokinin receptors, produced a significant, but moderate, increase in vocalization threshold. 4. These results demonstrate that Mg-deficiency induces a sensitization of nociceptive pathways in the spinal cord which involves NMDA and non-NMDA receptors. Furthermore, the data is consistent with an active role of PKC, NO and, to a lesser extent substance P in the intracellular mechanisms leading to hyperalgesia.[1]


  1. Role of spinal NMDA receptors, protein kinase C and nitric oxide synthase in the hyperalgesia induced by magnesium deficiency in rats. Begon, S., Pickering, G., Eschalier, A., Mazur, A., Rayssiguier, Y., Dubray, C. Br. J. Pharmacol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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