Blockade of joint inflammation and secondary hyperalgesia by L-NAME, a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor. Academic Article uri icon


  • Acute arthritis is associated with pain-related behavior, joint swelling and increased joint temperature. Arthritic animals exhibit a significant decrease in paw withdrawal latency 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 h after induction of inflammation, when compared with baseline values, indicative of secondary hyperalgesia. Intra-articular injection of a non-specific nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME), resulted in a complete reversal of heat hyperalgesia and prevented further increase in joint swelling and temperature, while injection of either isotonic saline or the inactive enantiomer NG-nitro-D-arginine methyl ester (D-NAME) after induction of arthritis had no effect on any of these parameters. Intra-articular injection of 7-nitro-indazole (7-NINA), a selective neuronal NOS inhibitor, reversed the heat hyperalgesia for about 1 h but did not inhibit the increase in joint swelling or temperature. These results suggest an important role for nitric oxide (NO) in mediating peripheral nociceptive transmission and inflammation.

publication date

  • March 1997