Neurotensin has been demonstrated to be analgesic in rodents. This study used intrathecal injection of neurotensin in unanesthetized mice to evaluate the effect of the peptide at the spinal level on unconditioned behavior. Intrathecal administration of neurotensin produced dose-related inhibition of locomotor activity and of the response elicited by subcutaneous hypertonic saline. The effects of the peptide in the tail flick assay were variable and it produced no inhibition of the behavioral response to intrathecal substance P. The results indicate that neurotensin antinociception at the spinal level does not result from locomotor impairment, may be somewhat selective for chemically induced pain, and may be mediated by a presynaptic action on primary afferent fibers.
- Substance P