Effects of Intracerebroventricular and Intra-Arcuate Nucleus Injection of Ghrelin on Pain Behavioral Responses and Met-Enkephalin and β-Endorphin Concentrations in the Periaqueductal Gray Area in Rats
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Ghrelin is an endogenous ligand for orphan growth hormone secretagogue receptors. Ghrelin receptors have been found in central nervous system (CNS) areas responsible for pain modulation and transmission. This study investigated the effects of intracerebroventricular (ICV) and intra-arcuate nucleus (ARC) injection of ghrelin on pain behavioral responses and levels of β-endorphin (β-EP) and met-enkephalin (MENK) in the periaqueductal gray area (PAG) during the formalin test in rats. Thirty-five
... rats. Thirty-five male rats were studied in five groups. Ghrelin was injected into the left lateral ventricle (ICV, 5 µL) or into the ARC (1 µL). After 15 min, formalin (2.5%) was subcutaneously injected into the left hind paw. Behavioral nociceptive scores were recorded for 60 min. MENK and β-EP were collected by microdialysis in the PAG and determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). ICV and ARC injection of ghrelin significantly reduced pain in all phases of the formalin test (p < 0.001). Dialysate concentrations of MENK and β-EP in the PAG increased in all the phases (p < 0.01). In conclusion, the present study shows that the ARC nucleus and the endogenous opioid system are involved in ghrelin-induced pain modulation.