Morphine, but not methadone, inhibits microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated horse synoviocytes.


Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Animal Science and Food Engineering, University of São Paulo, Pirassununga, SP, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the main locomotor disorders in horses. Although nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the first-line treatment for OA, opioids could also be used. In previous studies, opioids showed promising anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of two opioids (morphine and methadone) against inflammation in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated synoviocytes by analyzing microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2) expression. Synoviocytes were obtained from the joints at the distal limbs of dead animals. The cytotoxic effects of LPS, morphine, and methadone were investigated by using a cell viability assay with crystal violet dye. Synoviocytes were treated with LPS, LPS plus morphine, or LPS plus methadone for 3, 6, and 12 h, and mPGES-1 and PTGS2 expression was measured using real-time polymerase chain reaction. LPS, and morphine did not affect the viability of synoviocytes, even at high concentrations. LPS treatment increased mPGES-1 and PTGS2 expression, whereas morphine inhibited the increase in mPGES-1 and PTGS2 expression in LPS-stimulated synoviocytes. Methadone did not inhibit mPGES-1 or PTGS2 expression. These results suggest that morphine may exhibit anti-inflammatory effect; therefore, it might be beneficial for the treatment of OA.



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