Anesthesia and analgesia
Current techniques of peripheral nerve block have major limitations, including lack of differentiation between motor and sensory fibers and potential toxicity of local anesthetics. Recent studies have suggested that a nociceptive-selective nerve block can be achieved via a transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 activator (capsaicin) along with local anesthetics. We hypothesized that the combination of potent transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 agonist resiniferatoxin (RTX) and selected antidepressants (amitriptyline, doxepin, and fluoxetine, also potent sodium channel blockers) would produce prolonged and predominantly sensory nerve block. ⋯ The combined application of RTX and antidepressants produced a markedly prolonged nociceptive peripheral nerve block in rat sciatic nerves compared with either agent alone. However, the 2-drug regimen also elicited prolonged blockade of the motor function, although disproportionately less compared with the nociceptive modality, suggesting the existence of nontransient receptor potential vanilloid type 1-mediated mechanisms. The mechanisms through which RTX affects nociceptive signal transduction/transmission have yet to be fully elucidated.