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Contribution of adrenal hormones to nicotine‐induced inhibition of synovial plasma extravasation in the rat

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1. In this study, we examined the mechanism(s) by which s.c. nicotine inhibits synovial plasma extravasation. We found that nicotine dose-dependently inhibited bradykinin (BK)- and platelet activating factor (PAF)-induced plasma extravasation. 2. The effect of nicotine on both BK- and PAF-induced plasma extravasation was attenuated by adrenal medullectomy. ICI-118,551 (a selective beta 2-adrenoceptor blocker) (30 micrograms ml-1, intra-articularly) significantly attenuated the inhibitory action of high-dose (1 mg kg-1) nicotine on BK-induced plasma extravasation without affecting the inhibition by low- (0.01 microgram kg-1) dose nicotine or that on PAF-induced plasma extravasation by nicotine at any dose. This suggested that beta 2-adrenoceptors mediate the inhibitory actions of high-dose, but not low-dose, nicotine. We also found that systemic naloxone (an opioid receptor antagonist) (two hourly injections of 1 mg kg-1, i.p.) attenuated the inhibitory action produced by all doses of nicotine on BK- or PAF-induced plasma extravasation, suggesting the contribution of endogenous opioids. 3. RU-38,486 (a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist) (30 mg kg-1, s.c.), and metyrapone (a glucocorticoid synthesis inhibitor) (two hourly injections of 100 mg kg-1, i.p.) both attenuated the action of high-dose nicotine without affecting that of low-dose nicotine. 4. Spinal mecamylamine (a nicotinic receptor antagonist) (0.025 mg kg-1, intrathecally, i.t.) attenuated the action of high-dose, but not low-dose, nicotine, suggesting that part of the action of high-dose nicotine is mediated by spinal nicotinic receptors. 5. Combined treatment with ICI-118,551, naloxone and RU-38,486 attenuated the action of low-dose nicotine by an amount similar to that produced by naloxone alone but produced significantly greater attenuation of the effect of high-dose nicotine when compared to the action of any of the three antagonists alone.

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