Antinociceptive effects of intrathecal taurine and calcium in the mouse

Carl S. Hornfeldt, David H. Smullin, Cassandra D. Schamber, Sun Xiaofeng, Alice A Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Taurine (Tau), calcium (Ca+2) and opiates each produce antinociception when injected i.t. in mice. This study was initiated to determine whether there is a common mechanism underlying their antinociceptive effects. Using the abdominal stretch assay, the antinociceptive effects of both Tau (12 nmol) and Ca+2 (72 nmol) were antagonized by i.t. TAG (4.4 nmol), a Tau antagonist, but not by i.p. injection of the opiate antagonist naloxone (5 mg/kg). The antinociceptive effects of Tau and Ca+2 correlated with their ability to inhibit the intensity of caudally-directed biting and scratching behaviors produced by i.t. NMDA or kainic acid. The inhibitory effects of both Tau and Ca+2 on the biting and scratching behaviors behaviors induced by substance P or excitatory amino acids were reversed by TAG, suggesting a common mediation by Tau. These data indicate that the antinoceptive effects of both Tau and Ca+2 appear to be mediated, at least in part, by Tau but not by the release of endogenous opioid compounds. In addition, inhibition of chemical irritant-induced nociception may be produced by a simple blockade of excitatory amino acid activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1925-1934
Number of pages10
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1992

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by USPHS Grants DA04090, DA04190, DA00124 to A.A.L. and DA07234 to D.H.S.


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