Adenosine and excitatory amino acids have been known to be involved in modulating nociceptive transmission at the spinal level. The authors assessed the characteristics of the interaction of the adenosine-excitatory amino acid antagonist combinations in the spinal cord of rats on the formalin-induced nociception. Intrathecal NMDA antagonist ((5R, 10S)-(+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a[,]d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine hydrogen maleate, MK801, 30 µg) and AMPA antagonist (2,3-dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrobenzo[F]quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide, NBQX, 3 µg) decreased the total number of flinches during both phases in the formalin test. Intrathecal adenosine (300 µg) had little effect on the phase 1 flinching response, but decreased the phase 2 response. The fixed dose analysis and the isobolographic analysis revealed that adenosine interacts additively with MK801 and NBQX in the spinal cord.

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