Substance P: does it produce analgesia or hyperalgesia?

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Science  18 Apr 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4441, pp. 305-307
DOI: 10.1126/science.6154313


In the hot plate test, substance P given intravenously at doses of 5 x 10-5 and 5 x 10-4 gram per kilogram caused analgesia, while lower doses caused hyperalgesia. The influence of substance P on nociception depended on the individual mouse's sensitivity to pain (control response latency). Analgesia was produced by substance P administered to mice with high sensitivity to thermic stimulation, whereas hyperalgesia occurred in mice whose control latencies were longer than normal. This result is interpreted as an indication that substance P is capable of normalizing responsiveness to pain and could be classified as a regulatory peptide.