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Peripheral and central activation of nitric oxide–cyclic GMP pathway by sildenafil

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image of Inflammopharmacology

Experimental studies have indicated the importance of cAMP and cGMP in modulation of peripheral sensory neurons leading to hyperalgesic response. The concentration of both depends upon the activity of phosphodiesterase, which is responsible for their degradation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the PDE-5 inhibitor sildenafil on central or peripheral administration in formalin-induced hyperalgesia in rats. Sildenafil dose-dependently and significantly attenuated both the early and late phase of formalin-induced hyperalgesia on central administration. However, sildenafil on peripheral administration inhibited only the late phase of formalin-induced hyperalgesia in rats. The anti-nociceptive effect of sildenafil was blocked by L-NAME, a non-selective NOS inhibitor, and methylene blue (MB), a guanylate cyclase inhibitor, but sildenafil itself had little or no effect on the first phase of the formalin test in rats. The results from the present study indicates that sildenafil, besides peripheral actions, has a central anti-nociceptive effect, which may be due to activation of the NO–cGMP pathway, as this effect was blocked by L-NAME and MB. PDE-5 inhibitors could be considered as a new class of anti-nociceptive agents for future drug development.

Affiliations: 1: Pharmacology Division, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh 160 014, India


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