The possibility that pain perception and processing in the CNS results in cellular stress and may influence heat shock protein (HSP) expression was examined in a rat model of morphine dependence and withdrawal. Since activation of pain pathways result in exhaustion of growth factors, we examined the influence of cerebrolysin, a mixture of potent growth factors (BDNF, GDNF, NGF, CNTF etc,) on morphine induced HSP expression. Rats were administered morphine (10 mg/kg, s.c. /day) for 12 days and the spontaneous withdrawal symptoms were developed by cessation of the drug administration on day 13th that were prominent on day 14th and continued up to day 15th (24 to 72 h periods). In a separate group of rats, cerebrolysin was infused intravenously (5 ml/kg) once daily from day one until day 15th. In these animals, morphine dependence and withdrawal along with HSP immunoreactivity was examined using standard protocol. In untreated group mild HSP immunoreaction was observed during morphine tolerance, whereas massive upregulation of HSP was seen in CNS during withdrawal phase that correlated well with the withdrawal symptoms and neuronal damage. Pretreatment with cerebrolysin did not affect morphine tolerance but reduced the HSP expression during this phase. Furthermore, cerebrolysin reduced the withdrawal symptoms on day 14th to 15th. Taken together these observations suggest that cellular stress plays an important role in morphine induced pain pathology and exogenous supplement of growth factors, i.e. cerebrolysin attenuates HSP expression in the CNS and induce neuroprotection. This indicates a new therapeutic role of cerebrolysin in the pathophysiology of drugs of abuse, not reported earlier.
Keywords: Morphine, heat shock proteins (HSP 72 kD), morphine tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, stress reaction, cerebrolysin, growth factors, pain perception, analgesia, blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB), neurodegeneration, BBB function, hypothalamus
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport