Opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH) is a less-studied phenomenon that has been reported in both preclinical and clinical studies. Although the underlying cause is not entirely understood, OIH is a real-life problem that affects millions of patients on a daily basis. Research has implicated the important contribution of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα) to OIH at the level of spinal nociceptors. To expand our understanding of the entire brain circuitry driving OIH, in this study we investigated the role of CaMKIIα in the laterocapcular division of the central amygdala (CeLC), the conjunctive point between the spinal cord and rostro-ventral medulla. OIH was produced by repeated fentanyl administration in the rat. Correlating with the development of mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia, CaMKIIα activity was significantly elevated in the CeLC in OIH. In addition, the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) in CeLC neurons were significantly increased in OIH. 2-[N-(2-hidroxyethyl)-N-(4-methoxy-benzenesulfonyl)]-amino-N-(4-chlorocinnamyl)-N-methylbenzylamine, a CaMKIIα inhibitor, dose dependently reversed sensory hypersensitivity, activation of CeLC CaMKIIα, and mEPSCs in OIH. Taken together, our data for the first time implicate a critical role of CeLC CaMKIIα in OIH.
- Copyright © 2016 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics