(1/77) Receptor subtype mediating the adrenergic sensitivity of pain behavior and ectopic discharges in neuropathic Lewis rats.

Receptor subtype mediating the adrenergic sensitivity of pain behavior and ectopic discharges in neuropathic Lewis rats. We attempted to identify the subtype of alpha-adrenergic receptor (alpha-AR) that is responsible for the sympathetic (adrenergic) dependency of neuropathic pain in the segmental spinal injury (SSI) model in the Lewis strain of rat. This model was chosen because our previous study showed that pain behaviors in this condition are particularly sensitive to systemic injection of phentolamine (PTL), a general alpha-AR blocker. We examined the effects of specific alpha1- and alpha2-AR blockers on 1) behavioral signs of mechanical allodynia, 2) ectopic discharges recorded in the in vivo condition, and 3) ectopic discharges recorded in an in vitro setup. One week after tight ligation of the L5 and L6 spinal nerves, mechanical thresholds of the paw for foot withdrawals were drastically lowered; we interpreted this change as a sign of mechanical allodynia. Signs of mechanical allodynia were significantly relieved by a systemic injection of PTL (a mixed alpha1- and alpha2-AR antagonist) or terazosin (TRZ, an alpha1-AR antagonist) but not by various alpha2-AR antagonists (idazoxan, rauwolscine, or yohimbine), suggesting that the alpha1-AR is in part the mediator of the signs of mechanical allodynia. Ongoing ectopic discharges were recorded from injured afferents in fascicles of the L5 dorsal root of the neuropathic rat with an in vivo recording setup. Ongoing discharge rate was significantly reduced after intraperitoneal injection of PTL or TRZ but not by idazoxan. In addition, by using an in vitro recording setup, spontaneous activity was recorded from teased dorsal root fibers in a segment in which the spinal nerve was previously ligated. Application of epinephrine to the perfusion bath enhanced ongoing discharges. This evoked activity was blocked by pretreatment with TRZ but not with idazoxan. This study demonstrated that both behavioral signs of mechanical allodynia and ectopic discharges of injured afferents in the Lewis neuropathic rat are in part mediated by mechanisms involving alpha1-ARs. These results suggest that the sympathetic dependency of neuropathic pain in the Lewis strain of the rat is mediated by the alpha1 subtype of AR.  (+info)

(2/77) Pronociceptive actions of dynorphin maintain chronic neuropathic pain.

Whereas tissue injury increases spinal dynorphin expression, the functional relevance of this upregulation to persistent pain is unknown. Here, mice lacking the prodynorphin gene were studied for sensitivity to non-noxious and noxious stimuli, before and after induction of experimental neuropathic pain. Prodynorphin knock-out (KO) mice had normal responses to acute non-noxious stimuli and a mild increased sensitivity to some noxious stimuli. After spinal nerve ligation (SNL), both wild-type (WT) and KO mice demonstrated decreased thresholds to innocuous mechanical and to noxious thermal stimuli, indicating that dynorphin is not required for initiation of neuropathic pain. However, whereas neuropathic pain was sustained in WT mice, KO mice showed a return to baselines by post-SNL day 10. In WT mice, SNL upregulated lumbar dynorphin content on day 10, but not day 2, after injury. Intrathecal dynorphin antiserum reversed neuropathic pain in WT mice at post-SNL day 10 (when dynorphin was upregulated) but not on post-SNL day 2; intrathecal MK-801 reversed SNL-pain at both times. Opioid (mu, delta, and kappa) receptor density and G-protein activation were not different between WT and KO mice and were unchanged by SNL injury. The observations suggest (1) an early, dynorphin-independent phase of neuropathic pain and a later dynorphin-dependent stage, (2) that upregulated spinal dynorphin is pronociceptive and required for the maintenance of persistent neuropathic pain, and (3) that processes required for the initiation and the maintenance of the neuropathic pain state are distinct. Identification of mechanisms that maintain neuropathic pain appears important for strategies to treat neuropathic pain.  (+info)

(3/77) Receptor subtype-specific pronociceptive and analgesic actions of galanin in the spinal cord: selective actions via GalR1 and GalR2 receptors.

Galanin is a 29-aa neuropeptide with a complex role in pain processing. Several galanin receptor subtypes are present in dorsal root ganglia and spinal cord with a differential distribution. Here, we describe a generation of a specific galanin R2 (GalR2) agonist, AR-M1896, and its application in studies of a rat neuropathic pain model (Bennett). The results show that in normal rats mechanical and cold allodynia of the hindpaw are induced after intrathecal infusion of low-dose galanin (25 ng per 0.5 microl/h). The same effect is seen with equimolar doses of AR-M1896 or AR-M961, an agonist both at GalR1 and GalR2 receptors. In allodynic Bennett model rats, the mechanical threshold increased dose-dependently after intrathecal injection of a high dose of AR-M961, whereas no effect was observed in the control or AR-M1896 group. No effect of either of the two compounds was observed in nonallodynic Bennett model rats. These data indicate that a low dose of galanin has a nociceptive role at the spinal cord level mediated by GalR2 receptors, whereas the antiallodynic effect of high-dose galanin on neuropathic pain is mediated by the GalR1 receptors. Thus, a selective GalR1 agonist may be used to treat neuropathic pain.  (+info)

(4/77) Central neural mechanisms mediating human visceral hypersensitivity.

Although visceral hypersensitivity is thought to be important in generating symptoms in functional gastrointestinal disorders, the neural mechanisms involved are poorly understood. We recently showed that central sensitization (hyperexcitability of spinal cord sensory neurones) may play an important role. In this study, we demonstrate that after a 30-min infusion of 0.15 M HCl acid into the healthy human distal esophagus, we see a reduction in the pain threshold to electrical stimulation of the non-acid-exposed proximal esophagus (9.6 +/- 2.4 mA) and a concurrent reduction in the latency of the N1 and P2 components of the esophageal evoked potentials (EEP) from this region (10.4 +/- 2.3 and 15.8 +/- 5.3 ms, respectively). This reduced EEP latency indicates a central increase in afferent pathway velocity and therefore suggests that hyperexcitability within the central visceral pain pathway contributes to the hypersensitivity within the proximal, non-acid-exposed esophagus (secondary hyperalgesia/allodynia). These findings provide the first electrophysiological evidence that central sensitization contributes to human visceral hypersensitivity.  (+info)

(5/77) Spinal prostaglandins are involved in the development but not the maintenance of inflammation-induced spinal hyperexcitability.

Prostaglandins (PGs) are local mediators of several functions in the CNS. Both primary afferent neurons and intrinsic cells in the spinal cord produce PGs, with a marked upregulation during peripheral inflammation. Therefore, the significance of spinal PGs in the neuronal processing of mechanosensory information was herein investigated. In anesthetized rats, the discharges of spinal nociceptive neurons with input from the knee joint were extracellularly recorded. Topical administration of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) to the spinal cord facilitated the discharges and expanded the receptive field of dorsal horn neurons to innocuous and noxious pressure applied to the knee joint, the ankle, and the paw, thus mimicking inflammation-induced central sensitization. Conversely, topical administration of the PG synthesis inhibitor indomethacin to the spinal cord before and during development of knee joint inflammation attenuated the generation of inflammation-induced spinal neuronal hyperexcitability. However, after development of inflammation, the responses of spinal neurons to mechanical stimuli were only reduced by systemic indomethacin but not by indomethacin applied to the spinal cord. Thus, spinal PG synthesis is important for the induction and initial expression but not for the maintenance of spinal cord hyperexcitability. Spinal PGE(2) application facilitated dorsal horn neuronal firing elicited by ionophoretic delivery of NMDA, suggesting that an interaction of PGs and NMDA receptors may contribute to inflammation-induced central sensitization. However, after development of inflammation, spinal indomethacin failed to reduce responses to ionophoretic delivery of NMDA or AMPA, suggesting that such an interaction is not required for the maintenance of central sensitization.  (+info)

(6/77) Alteration in the voltage dependence of NMDA receptor channels in rat dorsal horn neurones following peripheral inflammation.

1. It has been proposed that the activation of NMDA receptors and upregulation of protein kinase C (PKC) underlie the exaggerated and persistent pain experienced in the inflammatory state. However, there is no direct evidence to show that inflammation alters the function of NMDA receptors. 2. We examined the voltage-dependent properties of NMDA receptor channels in rat dorsal horn neurones that receive sensory inputs from an inflamed hindpaw. 3. Peripheral inflammation was induced by injections of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). Membrane currents were measured using the perforated patch-clamp technique. 4. After CFA treatment, the current-voltage relationship of NMDA receptor channels was shifted in the hyperpolarized direction. This resulted in enhanced NMDA responses at negative potentials. 5. The change was mediated by PKC because the voltage shift was blocked by the selective PKC inhibitors chelerythrine and bisindolylmaleimide I. 6. Furthermore, the Mg(2+) blockade of NMDA receptors was reduced. This reduction could account for the shift in the voltage dependence of NMDA receptor channels. 7. These results indicate that NMDA receptor channel characteristics in the dorsal horn are altered by inflammation, and that the changes observed could contribute to the hyperalgesia and allodynia associated with tissue injury.  (+info)

(7/77) Effects of MK-801 and morphine on spinal C-Fos expression during the development of neuropathic pain.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression of c-fos in the spinal cord during the development of allodynia, induced by peripheral nerve injury. Following tight ligation of the left L5 and L6 spinal nerves of Sprague- Dawley rat, the lumbar spinal cord was postfixed following perfusion. Frontal frozen sections of 40 microm were immunostained according to the peroxidase-antiperoxidase method. The allodynic threshold was checked with 8 calibrated von Frey filaments. MK-801 (0.3 mg/kg), morphine (3 mg/kg) and saline (as a placebo) were administered subcutaneously 30 min before, and 24 and 48 hrs after surgery. The tactile threshold decreased below 3 g since 2 days after surgery in the saline and morphine groups, but delayed a little in the MK-801 group. In the superficial layer the number of Fos-like immunoreactive neurones (Fos-LI) peaked at 2 hours and decreased thereafter, and reached normal levels 24 hrs following operation, for all groups. In the deep layer they were biphasic, - peaking at 2 and 24 hrs - in the saline group, but were suppressed in the morphine and MK-801 groups until 7 days following operation. The above discrepancy between the number of Fos-LI and the allodynic threshold showed that central sensitizations are not critically involved in the development of nerve injury induced tactile allodynia.  (+info)

(8/77) Chronic morphine induces downregulation of spinal glutamate transporters: implications in morphine tolerance and abnormal pain sensitivity.

Tolerance to the analgesic effects of an opioid occurs after its chronic administration, a pharmacological phenomenon that has been associated with the development of abnormal pain sensitivity such as hyperalgesia. In the present study, we examined the role of spinal glutamate transporters (GTs) in the development of both morphine tolerance and associated thermal hyperalgesia. Chronic morphine administered through either intrathecal boluses or continuous infusion induced a dose-dependent downregulation of GTs (EAAC1 and GLAST) in the rat's superficial spinal cord dorsal horn. This GT downregulation was mediated through opioid receptors because naloxone blocked such GT changes. Morphine-induced GT downregulation reduced the ability to maintain in vivo glutamate homeostasis at the spinal level, because the hyperalgesic response to exogenous glutamate was enhanced, including an increased magnitude and a prolonged time course, in morphine-treated rats with reduced spinal GTs. Moreover, the downregulation of spinal GTs exhibited a temporal correlation with the development of morphine tolerance and thermal hyperalgesia. Consistently, the GT inhibitor l-trans-pyrrolidine-2-4-dicarboxylate (PDC) potentiated, whereas the positive GT regulator riluzole reduced, the development of both morphine tolerance and thermal hyperalgesia. The effects from regulating spinal GT activity by PDC were at least in part mediated through activation of the NMDA receptor (NMDAR), because the noncompetitive NMDAR antagonist MK-801 blocked both morphine tolerance and thermal hyperalgesia that were potentiated by PDC. These results indicate that spinal GTs may contribute to the neural mechanisms of morphine tolerance and associated abnormal pain sensitivity by means of regulating regional glutamate homeostasis.  (+info)