The present study was undertaken to determine the effects of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) and intraperitoneal (i.p.) melatonin on mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia in mice with partial tight ligation of the sciatic nerve, and how the nitric oxide (NO) precursor L-arginine and the opiate antagonist naloxone influence this effect. A plantar analgesic meter was used to assess thermal hyperalgesia, and nerve injury-induced mechanical hyperalgesia was assessed with von Frey filaments. 1-5 weeks following the surgery, marked mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia developed in neuropathic mice. Intracerebroventricular and intraperitoneal melatonin, with its higher doses, produced a blockade of thermal hyperalgesia, but not mechanical allodynia. Administration of both L-arginine and naloxone, at doses which produced no effect on their own, partially reversed antihyperalgesic effect of melatonin. These results suggest that although it has different effects on neuropathic pain-related behaviors, melatonin may have clinical utility in neuropathic pain therapy in the future. It is also concluded that L-arginine-NO pathway and opioidergic system are involved in the antihyperalgesic effect of melatonin in nerve-injured mice. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.