Endomorphin-2 Is Not Released From Rat Spinal Dorsal Horn in Response to Intraplantar Formalin

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Antibody coated microprobes, inserted into the spinal cord at the L4-5 level, were used to detect whether endomorphin-2 (Endo2) was released from spinal dorsal horns in anesthetized rats in response to formalin injected into the hindpaw footpads. Saline injections were used as a control and substance P (SP) was measured to verify activation of nociceptive afferent fibers. SP but not Endo2 was released during pre-stimulation periods. Saline injections did not cause the release of either Endo2 or SP from the spinal cord. Formalin injections caused an increase in Fos expression as well as a release of SP, but not Endo2 from the ipsilateral side dorsal horn in L4-5. We conclude that Endo2 does not play a role in mediating the in vivo responses to acute inflammatory nociceptive signals at the spinal level in the anesthetized rat model.