It is aimed to investigate the central antinociceptive effect of protocatechuic acid and the involvement of stimulation of opioidergic, serotonin 5-HT2A/2C. alpha 2-adrenergic and muscarinic receptors in protocatechuic acid-induced central analgesia in mice. Time-dependent antinociceptive effects of protocatechuic acid at the oral doses of 75,150 and 300 mg/kg were tested in hot-plate (integrated supraspinal response) and tail-immersion (spinal reflex) tests in mice. To investigate the mechanisms of action; the mice administered 300 mg/kg protocatechuic acid (p.o.) were pre-treated with non-specific opioid antagonist naloxone (5 mg/kg, i.p.), serotonin 5-HT2A/(2c) receptor antagonist ketanserin (1 mg/kg, i.p.), alpha 2-adrenoceptor antagonist yohimbine (1 mg/kg, l.p.) and non-specific muscarinic antagonist atropine (5 mg/kg, l.p.), respectively. The antinociceptive effect of protocatechuic acid was observed at the doses of 75, 150 and 300 mg/kg in tail-immersion test, at the doses of 150 and 300 mg/kg in hot-plate test at different time interval. The enhancement in the latency of protocatechuic acid-induced response to thermal stimuli was antagonized by yohimbine, naloxone and atropine in tail-immersion test, while it was antagonized only by yohimbine and naloxone pretreatments in hot-plate test. These results indicated that protocatechuic acid has the central antinociceptive action that is probably organized by spinal mediated cholinergic and opiodiergic, also spinal and supraspinal mediated noradrenergic modulation. However, further studies are required to understand how protocatechuic acid organizes the interactions of these modulatory systems. As a whole, these findings reinforce that protocatechuic acid is a potential agent that might be used for pain relief. Additionally, the clarification of the effect and mechanisms of action of protocatechuic acid will contribute to new therapeutic approaches and provide guidance for new drug development studies. (C) 2018 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of King Saud University.