Immunocytochemical localization of Fos protein was used to analyze the involvement of nitric oxide (NO) in the expression of Fos in the spinal cord, induced by mechanical noxious stimulation (NS). Mechanical NS was applied to the left hindpaw 30 minutes after intrathecal administration of the NO synthase inhibitor, Nw-mtro-L-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME) and the resulting Fos expression in the spinal cord dorsal horn was compared with that obtained in rats exposed only to the mechanical NS. Pretreatment with L-NAME but not its stereoisomer A/^-nitro-D-arginine methyl ester (d-NAME), produced a dose-dependent suppression of Fos expression induced by mechanical noxious stimulation. These results indicate that NO modulates the expression of Fos in the dorsal horn induced by mechanical noxious stimulation and further support the hypothesis that NO is involved in nociceptive events occurring in the spinal cord in response to a peripheral noxious stimulus.
- A-nitro-L-argi-nine methyl ester l-NAME
- Mechanical noxious stimulation
- Nitric oxide NO synthase