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Central oxytocin signaling mediates the central orexin-induced visceral antinociception through the opioid system in conscious rats

Okumura, Toshikatsu, Nozu, Tsukasa, Kumei, Shima, Ohhira, Masumi
Physiology & behavior 2019 v.198 pp. 96-101
antagonists, cannabinoids, central nervous system, dopamine receptors, gastrointestinal motility, gastrointestinal system, intraperitoneal injection, naloxone, oxytocin, rats, sensation, subcutaneous injection
Central oxytocin is implicated in a wide variety of physiological functions. With regard to gastrointestinal functions, oxytocin acts centrally to regulate gastrointestinal motility. Visceral sensation is also known as one of key gastrointestinal functions which are controlled by the central nervous system (CNS). Little is, however, known about a role of central oxytocin in visceral sensation. The present study was therefore performed to clarify whether oxytocin in the CNS may be involved in visceral sensation. Visceral sensation was evaluated by colonic distension-induced abdominal withdrawal reflex (AWR) in conscious rats. Intracisternally administered oxytocin increased the threshold volume of colonic distension-induced AWR while intraperitoneal injection of oxytocin did not alter the threshold volume. Pretreatment with subcutaneous injection of naloxone hydrochloride, a peripheral and central opioid antagonist, blocked the oxytocin-induced visceral antinociception while neither subcutaneous injection of naloxone methiodide, a peripheral selective opioid antagonist, sulpiride, a dopamine D2 receptor antagonist, DPCPX, an adenosine A1 receptor antagonist, AM251, a cannabinoid 1 receptor antagonist nor AM630, a cannabinoid 2 receptor antagonist blocked the antinociception. Intracisternally administered oxytocin antagonist, L368,899 significantly blocked the intracisternal orexin-A-induced visceral antinociception. These results suggest that oxytocin specifically acts in the CNS to enhance antinociceptive response to colonic distension through the central opioid system. The oxytocin signaling may mediate the central orexin-induced visceral antinociception.