To test our hypothesis that the abnormally low efficacy of μ-opioid agonists in diabetic mice may be due to functional changes in ATP-sensitive potassium channels, we evaluated the effects of cromakalim on the tail-flick latencies in diabetic and non-diabetic mice. Anti nociceptive effects of morphine (10 µg, ICV) in diabetic mice were significantly less than that in non-diabetic mice. Morphine-induced antinociception in non-diabetic mice was antagonized by pretreatment with glibenclamide (30 µg, ICV), an ATP-sensitive potassium channel blocker. Cromakalim (0.3 and 1 µg, ICV) produced significant, dose-dependent antinociception in non-diabetic mice, which was significantly reduced by pretreatment with glibenclamide. However, cromakalim did not markedly affect the tail-flick latencies in diabetic mice, even at higher doses (3 µg, ICV). On the other hand, [D-Pen2,5]enkephaline (DPDPE, 5 µg, ICV), a selective δ-opioid receptor agonist, produced significant antinociception in both diabetic and non-diabetic mice. Since pretreatment with glibenclamide significantly reduced the antinociceptive effect of DPDPE in non-diabetic mice but not in diabetic mice, δ-opioid receptor-mediated antinociception in diabetic mice may be independent of potassium channels. These results suggest that dysfunction of ATP-sensitive potassium channels may contribute to the demonstrated poor antinociceptive response of diabetic mice to μ-opioid agonists.