Background. Cyclosporine A (CsA) and morphine have neurotoxic and psychiatric side effects, respectively. Endogenous opiatelike peptides can elicit a number of behavioral responses that mimic the symptoms of psychiatric illness. The purpose of this study was to quantitiate the changes of Met-enkephalin (ME) and β-endorphin (BE) after administration of CsA and morphine in surgery and to assess the antinociceptive effect. Patients and materials. Pain sensitivity, an antinociceptive indicator in rats, was determined with the hotplate test. Plasma ME and BE levels were measured with radioimmunoassays. Results. In normal unoperated rats, CsA induced a profound analgesic effect concomitant with an increased plasma ME level on day 1. Morphine produced an analgesic effect on days 1 and 2, with decreased ME levels on days 2 and 3. Coadministration of CsA and morphine prolonged the analgesia from days 1 to 4 and increased the plasma ME level on day 1. No change in plasma BE level was found. In surgically operated rats, CsA induced an analgesic effect and higher ME levels than those in unoperated rats. Interestingly, the combined use of CsA and morphine prolonged the analgesia and increased plasma ME levels from days 1 to 4, with no significant change in plasma BE levels. Conclusions. Our results showed that CsA can induce antinociception and increase plasma ME levels. This induction can be potentiated by the addition of morphine. Acute neuropsychiatric manifestations in the early posttransplant period might, therefore, be due to induction of ME after coadministration of CsA and morphine.
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