Background: Amylin and Salmon Calcitonin belong to the calcitonin family of peptides and have high affinity binding sites in the rat spinal cord. The aim of this study was to characterize receptors for Amylin and Salmon Calcitonin functionally in the spinal cord of rats. We assessed the expression of c-Fos in response to intraplantar formalin in the lumbar regions of the spinal cord in conscious rats. Methods: Amylin (0.05 nmoles) or Salmon Calcitonin (0.005 nmoles) was administered intrathecally (i.t.) 10 minutes before the start of the formalin test. Antagonists were injected intrathecally 10 minutes before the administration of either of the peptides. Results: Two hours after formalin stimulation, rats pretreated intrathecally by either Amylin or Salmon Calcitonin, showed lower numbers of c-Fos immunoreactive nuclei in their lumbar spinal cord as compared to rats pretreated with saline. These effects were reversed upon co-administration of either of the Amylin antagonists AC187 or rat amylin8-37, but not rat α-CGRP8-37. A few cells with c-Fos immunoreactivity were found in the lumbar spinal cord of rats two hours after i.t. injection of saline, Amylin and/or Salmon Calcitonin. However, Fos-like immunoreactivity was increased in the lumbar spinal cord two hours after i.t. treatment of either of the antagonists AC187 and rat amylin8-37, when compared to saline treated rats. Conclusion: Both Amylin and Salmon Calcitonin inhibit formalin induced c-Fos expression in the rat lumbar spinal cord when administered intrathecally. Effects of the two peptides were possibly produced by undefined receptors.