Trimethyltin (TMT) induced a dose-dependent antinociceptive and hypothermic effect in mice. Antinociception was not attenuated by naloxone but was reversed by atropine. TMT, however, was ineffective in displacing (3H)-QNB binding in vitro and did not affect (3H)-QNB binding or acetylcholinesterase activity after in vivo administration. The ethyl ester of nipecotic acid, a specific inhibitor of synaptosomal GABA uptake, exerted a similar antinociceptive effect that could be blocked by atropine. The GABA receptor antagonist bicuculline attenuated antinociception induced by TMT and nipecotic acid ethyl ester but not by morphine or oxotremorine. Gamma-Vinyl GABA, an irreversible inhibitor of GABA metabolism, prolonged TMT but not morphine-induced antinociception. In contrast, neither the dose-response nor the time course of TMT-induced hypothermia were affected by any of the drugs tested. The findings suggest that the GABAergic system may be involved in TMT induced antinociception; however, the mechanism responsible for the hypothermic effect of TMT is not apparent.
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