The activation of GABAA receptor by γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) in primary afferent fibers produces depolarization. In normal conditions this depolarization causes a reduction in the release of neurotransmitters. Therefore, this depolarization remains inhibitory. However, previous studies have suggested that in inflammatory pain, GABA shifts its signaling from inhibition to excitation by an increased GABA-induced depolarization. The contribution of peripheral α5 subunit-containing GABA A receptors to the inflammatory pain is unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible pronociceptive role of peripheral α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors in the formalin test. Formalin (0.5%) injection into the dorsum of the right hind paw produced flinching behavior in rats. Ipsilateral local peripheral pre-treatment (-10 min) with exogenous GABA (0.003-0.03 μg/paw) or common GABAA receptor agonists muscimol (0.003-0.03 μg/paw), diazepam (0.017-0.056 μg/paw) or phenobarbital (1-100 μg/paw) significantly increased 0.5% formalin-induced nociceptive behavior. The pronociceptive effects of GABA (0.03 μg/paw), muscimol (0.03 μg/paw), diazepam (0.056 μg/paw) and phenobarbital (100 μg/paw) were prevented by either the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline (0.01-0.1 μg/paw) or selective α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptor inverse agonist L-655,708 (0.017-0.17 μg/paw). The α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptor protein was expressed in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and dorsal spinal cord of naïve rats. The formalin injection did not modify α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptor expression. Overall, these results suggest that peripheral α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors play a pronociceptive role in the rat formalin test. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Bravo-Hernández, M., Feria-Morales, L. A., Torres-López, J. E., Cervantes-Durán, C., Delgado-Lezama, R., Granados-Soto, V., & Rocha-González, H. I. (2014). Evidence for the participation of peripheral α<inf>5</inf> subunit-containing GABA<inf>A</inf> receptors in GABA<inf>A</inf> agonists-induced nociception in rats. European Journal of Pharmacology, 91-97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2014.03.051