Further Studies in Adenosinergic and Monoaminergic Mechanisms of Analgesia by Amitriptyline
In this thesis, rodent models of chronic pain were used to explore analgesic mechanisms that may potentially be engaged in spinal and peripheral compartments by systemically-administered amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant. The first project (Chapter 2) identified the roles of spinal adenosine A1 and serotonin 5-HT7 receptors, as well as of peripheral adenosine A1 receptors, in the acute antinociceptive effects of amitriptyline in mice. The second project (Chapter 3) examined the potential utility of amitriptyline as a preventive analgesic against persistent post-surgical pain, and involved perioperative administration of amitriptyline after peripheral nerve injury in rats. Changes in post-injury behavioural outcomes, as well as spinal noradrenergic sprouting, were assessed. Overall, spinal serotonergic pathways linked to adenosine A1 receptors, as well as peripheral adenosine A1 receptors, appear to be important in antinociception by amitriptyline. Preventive analgesia by this drug does not appear to result from anatomical changes in spinal noradrenergic pathways.