, Volume 231, Issue 7, pp 1377–1387 | Cite as

Differential effects of opioid-related ligands and NSAIDs in nonhuman primate models of acute and inflammatory pain

Original Investigation



Carrageenan-induced hyperalgesia is a widely used pain model in rodents. However, characteristics of carrageenan-induced hyperalgesia and effects of analgesic drugs under these conditions are unknown in nonhuman primates.


The aims of this study were to develop carrageenan-induced hyperalgesia in rhesus monkeys and determine the efficacy and potency of agonists selective for the four opioid receptor subtypes in this model versus acute pain, as compared to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).


Tail injection of carrageenan produced long-lasting thermal hyperalgesia in monkeys. Systemically administered agonists selective for opioid receptor subtypes, i.e., fentanyl (mu/MOP), U-50488H (kappa/KOP), SNC80 (delta/DOP) and Ro 64-6198 (nociceptin/orphanin FQ/NOP) dose-dependently attenuated carrageenan-induced thermal hyperalgesia with different potencies. In absence of carrageenan, these agonists, except SNC80, blocked acute thermal nociception. Opioid-related ligands, especially Ro 64-6198, were much more potent for their antihyperalgesic than antinociceptive effects. Both effects were mediated by the corresponding receptor mechanisms. Only fentanyl produced scratching at antihyperalgesic and antinociceptive doses consistent with its pruritic effects in humans, illustrating a translational profile of MOP agonists in nonhuman primates. Similar to SNC80, systemically administered NSAIDs ketorolac and naproxen dose-dependently attenuated carrageenan-induced hyperalgesia but not acute nociception.


Using two different pain modalities in nonhuman primates, effectiveness of clinically available analgesics like fentanyl, ketorolac and naproxen was distinguished and their efficacies and potencies were compared with the selective KOP, DOP, and NOP agonists. The opioid-related ligands displayed differential pharmacological properties in regulating hyperalgesia and acute nociception in the same subjects. Such preclinical primate models can be used to investigate novel analgesic agents.


Opioids Opioid receptors NSAIDs Monkey pain model Carrageenan Nociceptin/orphanin FQ NOP receptors Hyperalgesia 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyWake Forest University School of MedicineWinston–SalemUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology and Pain MedicineSchool of Medicine, Ewha Womans UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Chemical Biology Research BranchNational Institute on Drug AbuseBethesdaUSA
  4. 4.Center for Comparative Medicine ResearchWake Forest University School of MedicineWinston–SalemUSA

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