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5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA), a main metabolite of serotonin, is responsible for complete Freund's adjuvant-induced thermal hyperalgesia in mice

Author(s): Chen Yong | Palm Florian | Lesch Klaus-Peter | Gerlach Manfred | Moessner Rainald | Sommer Claudia

Journal: Molecular Pain
ISSN 1744-8069

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 21;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background The role of serotonin (5-hydroxytrptamine, 5-HT) in the modulation of pain has been widely studied. Previous work led to the hypothesis that 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA), a main metabolite of serotonin, might by itself influence pain thresholds. Results In the present study, we investigated the role of 5-HIAA in inflammatory pain induced by intraplantar injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) into the hind paw of mice. Wild-type mice were compared to mice deficient of the 5-HT transporter (5-HTT-/- mice) using behavioral tests for hyperalgesia and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to determine tissue levels of 5-HIAA. Wild-type mice reproducibly developed thermal hyperalgesia and paw edema for 5 days after CFA injection. 5-HTT-/- mice treated with CFA had reduced thermal hyperalgesia on day 1 after CFA injection and normal responses to heat thereafter. The 5-HIAA levels in spinal cord and sciatic nerve as measured with HPLC were lower in 5-HTT-/- mice than in wild-type mice after CFA injection. Pretreatment of wild-type mice with intraperitoneal injection of para-chlorophenylalanine (p-CPA), a serotonin synthesis inhibitor, resulted in depletion of the 5-HIAA content in spinal cord and sciatic nerve and decrease in thermal hyperalgesia in CFA injected mice. The application of exogenous 5-HIAA resulted in potentiation of thermal hyperalgesia induced by CFA in 5-HTT-/- mice and in wild-type mice pretreated with p-CPA, but not in wild-type mice without p-CPA pretreatment. Further, methysergide, a broad-spectrum serotonin receptor antagonist, had no effect on 5-HIAA-induced potentiation of thermal hyperalgesia in CFA-treated wild-type mice. Conclusion Taken together, the present results suggest that 5-HIAA plays an important role in modulating peripheral thermal hyperalgesia in CFA induced inflammation, probably via a non-serotonin receptor mechanism.
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