Antinociceptive effect of clavulanic acid and its preventive activity against development of morphine tolerance and dependence in animal models

V Hajhashemi, Kh Dehdashti

Abstract


Glutamate has a key role in pain perception and also development of tolerance and dependence to morphine. It has been reported that clavulanic acid affects glutamatergic transmission via activation of glutamate transporter. Therefore the present study was aimed to evaluate the possible antinociceptive effect of clavulanic acid and its preventive activity against development of morphine tolerance and dependence in animal models. Male Swiss mice (25-30 g) were used in this study. Acetic acid-induced writhing, formalin test and hot plate method were used to assess the antinociceptive effect of clavulanic acid. Morphine (30 mg/kg, s.c.) was administered to the mice two times a day (8 AM and 4 PM) for 3 days in order to produce tolerance. To develop morphine dependence, morphine sulfate (50, 50 and 75 mg/kg) was injected at 8 and 12 AM and 16 PM respectively and for 3 consecutive days. Naloxone (5 mg/kg, i.p) was used to induce morphine withdrawal syndrome and the number of jumps and presence of ptosis, piloerection, tremor, sniffing and diarrhea were recorded and compared with control group. Clavulanic acid at doses of 10, 20 and 40 mg/kg inhibited abdominal constriction and licking behavior of acetic acid and formalin-induced pain respectively. Clavulanic acid was not able to show any antinociception in hot plate model and could not prevent development of tolerance and dependence to morphine. Clavulanic acid has considerable antinociceptive activity and further studies are needed to clarify its exact mechanism.


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