To further study the roles of spinal protein kinase C (PKC) in induction and maintenance of both the persistent spontaneous nociception and the contralateral heat hyperalgesia induced by subcutaneous (s.c.) bee venom injection, the effects of intrathecal (i.t.) treatment with a PKC inhibitor, chelerythrine chloride (CH), were evaluated in conscious rats. Pre-treatment i.t. with CH at three doses of 0.01, 0.1 and 1 nmol produced a dose-dependent suppressive effect on the flinching reflex with the inhibitory rates of 39, 48 and 59%, respectively, when compared with the pre-saline control group. Post-treatment i.t. with the drug at the highest dose used (1 nmol) also resulted in a 42% suppression of the flinching reflex compared with the control. Moreover, pre-treatment i.t. with CH at three doses of 0.01, 0.1 and 1 nmol also produced 12, 22 and 48% inhibition of the contralateral heat hyperalgesia in the pre-saline control group. Post-treatment i.t. with the drug at the highest dose used (1 nmol) also resulted in a 35% reversal effect on the established contralateral heat hyperalgesia. The present result suggests that activation of PKC in the spinal cord contributes to the induction and maintenance of both peripherally-dependent persistent spontaneous pain and contralateral heat hyperalgesia which is dependent upon central sensitization.