Background: Morphine tolerance on long-term usage leads to chronic pain conditions. Preclinical studies demonstrated that the upregulation of HDACs is associated with a decrease in the sensitivity of μ-opioid receptors, which results in morphine tolerance. Objective: The present study was designed to assess the influence of the selected known HDAC inhibitors (NMJ2 and NMJ3) on the pain tolerance induced by chronic administration of morphine in Balb/c mice. Methods: In the present study, morphine was administered in incremental doses 1, 2, 3.6, 6.5, 11.2, 21, and 21 mg/kg daily for seven days to develop morphine tolerance. The nociceptive thresholds, analgesia, and tolerance were assessed 30 min after morphine administration alternatively from 1st day to 7th day using the hot plate and mechanical allodynia methods. Results: The morphine control group showed a reduction in the Paw Withdrawal Threshold (PWT) and the percentage Maximum Possible Effects (MPEs). In contrast, the combination of SAHA and test drugs with morphine increased the PWT and MPEs as compared to the morphine alone group. Administration of morphine alone also showed an increase in the production of the pro-inflammatory mediator, IL-6, and down-regulation of the μ-opioid receptor in the brain tissues. Treatment with HDAC inhibitors, SAHA, and test drugs showed a reversal in these changes. Conclusion: Results indicated that HDAC inhibitors were involved in the prevention of morphine tolerance in normal mice by inhibiting pro-inflammatory marker production and by increasing the sensitivity of neurons towards morphine in producing an analgesic effect in morphine tolerated mice.
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