The role of adenosine A1 receptor in the peripheral tramadol's effect in the temporomandibular joint of rats

Henrique Ballassini Abdalla, Marcelo Henrique Napimoga, Alexandre Gomes de Macedo Maganin, Alexandre Hashimoto Lopes, Thiago Mattar Cunha, Harvinder Singh Gill, Juliana Trindade Clemente-Napimoga

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3 Scopus citations


Peripheral tramadol's delivery in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) leads to significant analgesic outcomes and inflammatory process's resolvent actions. Mechanistically, these properties are apart from the opioid system. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanisms behind these effects are still unclear. Therefore, the present study investigated the hypothesis that adenosine A1 receptors are involved in the tramadol-induced analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects in the TMJ. Animals were pretreated with an intra-TMJ injection of DPCPX (antagonist of A1 receptor) or tramadol and subsequent nociceptive challenge with an intra-TMJ injection of 1.5% formalin. For over 45 min, the nociceptive behavior was quantitated, and by the end of this assessment, the animals were euthanized, and the periarticular tissue was collected. Lastly, an in vitro assay of BMDM (Bone Marrow-Derived Macrophages) was performed to investigate tramadol activity in macrophages. The intra-TMJ injection of tramadol ameliorates formalin-induced hypernociception along with inhibiting leukocyte migration. The tramadol's peripheral anti-inflammatory effect was mediated by the adenosine A1 receptor and was associated with increased protein expression of α2a-adrenoceptor in the periarticular tissues (p < 0.05: ANOVA, Tukey's test). Also, tramadol inhibits formalin-induced leukocyte migration and protein expression of P2X7 receptors in the periarticular tissue (p < 0.05); however, DPCPX did not alter this effect (p > 0.05). Moreover, DPCPX significantly reduced the protein expression of the M2 macrophage marker, MRC1. In BMDM, tramadol significantly reduces inflammatory cytokines release, and DPCPX abrogated this effect (p < 0.05). We identify tramadol's peripheral effect is mediated by adenosine A1 receptor, possibly expressed in macrophages in the TMJ tissue. We also determined an important discovery related to the activation of A1R/α2a receptors in the tramadol action.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107680
JournalInternational Immunopharmacology
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Adenosine receptor
  • Analgesia
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Tramadol


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