Document Type : Original Article


Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.


In this study, the effects of subcutaneous (SC) injection of pilocarpine (a cholinomimetic agent) and atropine (a muscarinic receptors antagonist) were investigated on a tonic model of orofacial pain in rats. The contribution of the endogenous analgesic opioid system was assessed using naloxone (an opioid receptors antagonist). Tonic orofacial pain was induced by SC injection of a diluted formalin solution (1%, 50 μL) in the right upper lip, and the time spent face rubbing was measured in five min blocks for 1 h. Formalin induced a biphasic (first phase: 0-5 min and second phase: 15-35 min) pain response. Pilocarpine significantly (P < 0.05) suppressed both phases of orofacial pain. Atropine did not have any effect and naloxone non-significantly increased the intensity of pain when used alone. In the pre-injection examinations, atropine prevented, but naloxone did not reverse the antinociceptive effect of pilocarpine. The results indicated that SC injection of formalin in the orofacial region induced a marked biphasic pain. Pilocarpine via muscarinic cholinergic receptors produced antinociceptive effect in the orofacial formalin-induced pain. The endogenous opioid analgesic system may not have a role in pilocarpine-induced antinociception.