Acetylcholine Induced Antinociception: Comparisons to Opiate Analgesia

  • N. W. Pedigo
  • W. L. Dewey
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 25)


The ability of a number of cholinomimetic drugs to inhibit nociceptive responses in several animal species is well documented. Cholinomimetic agents which have shown antinociceptive activity in a variety of tests include the following: oxotremorine (16,19,26,32, 37,38,42), tremorine (7), arecoline (23,25,29,37,44), pilocarpine (10,25,29) and physostigmine (10,20,22,28,34,42,44,49). The specific central muscarinic mediation of these antinociceptive effects is agreed upon by most authors (10,25,28,37). Cholinomimetic drugs also potentiate narcotic analgesia in laboratory animals (1,26,28, 29,42,46,56) and in man (8,15,40,50,54). However, the relationship of cholinomimetic to narcotic analgesia remains unclear. Both classes of drugs demonstrate antinociceptive activity in similar tests and tolerance to each has been noted (see 48,55; also 10,26, 34). Significant cross-tolerance between narcotics and cholinomimetics has not been observed. Investigations into the possible inhibition of cholinergic antinociception by narcotic antagonists (7,18,20,26-28,42) and, conversely, the inhibition of narcotic analgesia by muscarinic receptor blockers (3,7,8,10,27-29,56) have yielded mixed results.


Antinociceptive Effect Antinociceptive Activity Narcotic Analgesia Morphine Analgesia Narcotic Drug 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. W. Pedigo
    • 1
  • W. L. Dewey
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyLouisiana State University Medical SchoolNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology, Medical College of VirginiaVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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