Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-3 (3)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Brief, low frequency stimulation of rat peripheral C-fibres evokes prolonged microglial-induced central sensitization in adults but not in neonates 
Pain  2009;144(1-2):110-118.
The sensitization of spinal dorsal horn neurones leads to prolonged enhancement of pain behaviour and can be evoked by intense C-fibre stimulation, tissue inflammation and peripheral nerve injury. Activation of central immune cells plays a key role in establishing pain hypersensitivity but the exact nature of the afferent input that triggers the activation of microglia and other glial cells within the CNS, remains unclear. Here intense but non-damaging, electrical stimulation of intact adult rat C-fibres for 5 min at 10 Hz induced central sensitization characterized by significant decreases in mechanical withdrawal thresholds 3, 24 and 48 h later. This maintained (>3 h) hypersensitivity was not observed following topical skin application of capsaicin. C-fibre evoked sensitization was accompanied by significant microglial activation, shown by increased Iba-1 immunoreactivity throughout the dorsal horn at 24 and 48 h and significant upregulation of markers of microglial activation: IL-6 and Mcp-1 at 3 h and Mmp3, CSF-1 and CD163 at 24 and 48 h. C-fibre stimulation caused no nerve damage at ultrastructural and molecular levels. Lower intensity stimulation that did not activate C-fibres or sham stimulation did not increase Iba-1 immunoreactivity or induce behavioural sensitivity. Pre-treatment with minocycline (40 mg/kg, i.p.) prevented the C-fibre evoked sensitization and microglial activation. Identical C-fibre stimulation in 10-day old rat pups failed to activate microglia or change behaviour. These results demonstrate that a brief period of low frequency C-fibre stimulation, in the absence of nerve damage, is sufficient to activate microglia resulting in behavioural hyperalgesia.
PMCID: PMC2702711  PMID: 19410369
Rat; Neonate; Central sensitization; Microglia; Sciatic
2.  Origins, actions and dynamic expression patterns of the neuropeptide VGF in rat peripheral and central sensory neurones following peripheral nerve injury 
Molecular Pain  2008;4:62.
The role of the neurotrophin regulated polypeptide, VGF, has been investigated in a rat spared injury model of neuropathic pain. This peptide has been shown to be associated with synaptic strengthening and learning in the hippocampus and while it is known that VGFmRNA is upregulated in dorsal root ganglia following peripheral nerve injury, the role of this VGF peptide in neuropathic pain has yet to be investigated.
Prolonged upregulation of VGF mRNA and protein was observed in injured dorsal root ganglion neurons, central terminals and their target dorsal horn neurons. Intrathecal application of TLQP-62, the C-terminal active portion of VGF (5–50 nmol) to naïve rats caused a long-lasting mechanical and cold behavioral allodynia. Direct actions of 50 nM TLQP-62 upon dorsal horn neuron excitability was demonstrated in whole cell patch recordings in spinal cord slices and in receptive field analysis in intact, anesthetized rats where significant actions of VGF were upon spontaneous activity and cold evoked responses.
VGF expression is therefore highly modulated in nociceptive pathways following peripheral nerve injury and can cause dorsal horn cell excitation and behavioral hypersensitivity in naïve animals. Together the results point to a novel and powerful role for VGF in neuropathic pain.
PMCID: PMC2614976  PMID: 19077191
3.  Nerve injury induces robust allodynia and ectopic discharges in Nav1.3 null mutant mice 
Molecular Pain  2006;2:33.
Changes in sodium channel activity and neuronal hyperexcitability contribute to neuropathic pain, a major clinical problem. There is strong evidence that the re-expression of the embryonic voltage-gated sodium channel subunit Nav1.3 underlies neuronal hyperexcitability and neuropathic pain.
Here we show that acute and inflammatory pain behaviour is unchanged in global Nav1.3 mutant mice. Surprisingly, neuropathic pain also developed normally in the Nav1.3 mutant mouse. To rule out any genetic compensation mechanisms that may have masked the phenotype, we investigated neuropathic pain in two conditional Nav1.3 mutant mouse lines. We used Nav1.8-Cre mice to delete Nav1.3 in nociceptors at E14 and NFH-Cre mice to delete Nav1.3 throughout the nervous system postnatally. Again normal levels of neuropathic pain developed after nerve injury in both lines. Furthermore, ectopic discharges from damaged nerves were unaffected by the absence of Nav1.3 in global knock-out mice. Our data demonstrate that Nav1.3 is neither necessary nor sufficient for the development of nerve-injury related pain.
PMCID: PMC1630424  PMID: 17052333

Results 1-3 (3)