Abstract Title:

Acetyl-l-carnitine induces muscarinic antinocieption in mice and rats.

Abstract Source:

Neuropharmacology. 2002 Dec;43(7):1180-7. PMID: 12504925

Abstract Author(s):

Carla Ghelardini, Nicoletta Galeotti, Menotti Calvani, Luigi Mosconi, Raffaella Nicolai, Alessandro Bartolini

Article Affiliation:

Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Florence, Viale G Pieraccini 6, I-50139, Florence, Italy. [email protected]


The analgesic activity of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) in neuropathic pain is well established. By contrast, its potential efficacy in the relief of acute pain has not been reported. The antinociceptive effect of ALCAR was, therefore, examined in the mouse hot-plate and abdominal constriction tests, and in the rat paw-pressure test. ALCAR (100 mg kg(-1) s.c. twice daily for seven days) produced an increase of the pain threshold in both mice and rats. ALCAR was also able to reverse hyperalgesia induced by kainic acid and NMDA administration in the mouse hot-plate test. The antinociception produced by ALCAR was prevented by the unselective muscarinic antagonist atropine, the M(1) selective antagonists pirenzepine and S-(-)-ET126, and by the choline uptake inhibitor hemicholinium-3 (HC-3). By contrast the analgesic effect of ALCAR was not prevented by the opioid antagonist naloxone, the GABA(B) antagonist CGP 35348, the monoamine synthesis inhibitor (alpha)-methyl-p-tyrosine, and the Gi-protein inactivator pertussis toxin. Moreover, ALCAR antinociception was abolished by pretreament with an antisense oligonucleotide (aODN) against the M(1) receptor subtype, administered at the dose of 2 nmol per single i.c.v injection. On the basis of the above data, it can be postulated that ALCAR exerted an antinociceptive effect mediated by a central indirect cholinergic mechanism. In the antinociceptive dose-range, ALCAR did not impair mouse performance evaluated by the rota-rod and hole-board tests.

Study Type : Animal Study

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