1. Our previous work has demonstrated that exogenously administered orphanin FQ (OFQ) antagonizes morphine analgesia and electroacupuncture analgesia (EAA) in the brain and potentiates morphine analgesia and EAA in the spinal cord of the rat. In the present study we evaluated the role of endogenously released OFQ in the development of tolerance to morphine and electroacupuncture (EA) and the analgesia produced by electroacupuncture, by use of the IgG fraction of an anti-OFQ antibody (OFQ-Ab) microinjected into the rat central nervous system (CNS). 2. EAA was produced by stimulating rats at a frequency of 100 Hz. Rats were classified as either high responders (HR) or low responders (LR) based on the analgesic effects of EA. LRs could be converted into HRs by the intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) microinjection of OFQ-Ab at both 1:1 and 1:10 dilutions but not 1:100. HRs could be changed into LRs by the intrathecal (i.t.) injection of OFQ-Ab at both 1:1 and 1:10 dilutions, but not 1:100. 3. Acute morphine tolerance was induced in rats by repeated subcutaneous (s.c.) injections of morphine (5 mg kg, every 2 h) for 16 h. When injected i.c.v. the OFQ-Ab (1:1 dilution) had no effect on the development of acute morphine tolerance. 4. Chronic morphine tolerance was produced in rats by repeated injection of morphine (5-60 mg kg, s.c., 3 x a day) for 6 days. I.c.v. injection of OFQ-Ab (1:1 dilution) reversed this type of morphine tolerance in rats by 50% (P < 0.01). 5. Acute tolerance to the analgesia produced by EA developed after 6 h of continuous (100 Hz, 3mA) stimulation. This tolerance was almost completely reversed by the i.c.v. injection of OFQ-Ab (1.1 dilution) (P < 0.05). 6. Chronic tolerance to the analgesic effect of EA was produced by repeatedly administering increasing current (1, 2 and 3 mA, each lasting for 10 min, for a total of 30 min) at a frequency of 100 Hz once a day for 6 days. I.c.v. injection of OFQ-Ab (1:1 dilution) reversed this kind of tolerance by 50% (P < 0.01). 7. Together these results suggest that 100 Hz EA may enhance the release of endogenous OFQ in the CNS of the rat, which in turn may act to antagonize EA-produced analgesia in the brain but potentiate EA produced analgesia in the spinal cord. Therefore, OFQ appears to play an important role in the development of tolerance to the analgesic effects produced by EA. 8. The mechanisms underlying the development of acute morphine tolerance and chronic morphine tolerance appear to be different. Central OFQ may play an important role in the development of tolerance after chronic morphine administration.
- Orphanin FQ
ASJC Scopus subject areas