Long-term antihyperalgesic and opioid-sparing effects of 5-day ketamine and morphine Infusion ("Burst Ketamine") in diabetic neuropathic rats

Plato Mak, Jillian Helen Broadbear, Anton Kolosov, Colin Stanley Goodchild

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Burst ketamine (BK) is the long-term infusion of subanesthetic ketamine in combination with an opioid. It is used clinically with mixed success to provide long-term pain relief and improve opioid response in patients. BK has not been simulated preclinically, therefore, its effectiveness was investigated in an animal model of neuropathic pain-streptozotocin-induced diabetic neuropathy. Methods: Diabetic neuropathic rats were randomized to receive a subcutaneous infusion of ketamine 20 mg/kg/day plus morphine 20 mg/kg/day (BK), either drug alone at the same dose, or sham treatment. Drugs were administered continuously over 5 days via osmotic minipump. Antihyperalgesic effects and antinociceptive responsiveness to morphine (0.625-10 mg/kg, i.p.) were assessed at 2, 4, 6, and 12 weeks post-treatment using paw withdrawal latency (PWL) from noxious heat (thermal hyperalgesia) and mechanical touch (tactile allodynia). Results: Antihyperalgesic effects with significant increases in PWL from noxious heat occurred following BK and ketamine-only infusion, persisting 12 and 4 weeks, respectively. Opioid-sparing effects from noxious heat with increased sensitivity to morphine analgesia also occurred for 6 weeks after BK and 2 weeks after ketamine treatment; acute treatment with the maximum nonsedating dose of morphine (5 mg/kg) produced an antinociceptive effect in these two groups, but not in sham-treated rats. In morphine-only infusion rats, hyperalgesia and opioid insensitivity were both increased. Conclusions: This is the first preclinical study to use a model of neuropathic pain to demonstrate the utility of the BK procedure for delivering a long-lasting reduction in hyperalgesia and improved antinociceptive responsiveness to opioids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1781 - 1793
Number of pages13
JournalPain Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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