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Spontaneous Pain, Both Neuropathic and Inflammatory, Is Related to Frequency of Spontaneous Firing in Intact C-Fiber Nociceptors

Djouhri, Laiche, Koutsikou, Stella, Fang, Xin, McMullan, Simon, Lawson, Sally N. (2006) Spontaneous Pain, Both Neuropathic and Inflammatory, Is Related to Frequency of Spontaneous Firing in Intact C-Fiber Nociceptors. Journal of Neuroscience, 26 (4). pp. 1281-1292. ISSN 0270-6474. E-ISSN 1529-2401. (doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3388-05.2006) (KAR id:64207)


Spontaneous pain, a poorly understood aspect of human neuropathic pain, is indicated in animals by spontaneous foot lifting (SFL). To determine whether SFL is caused by spontaneous firing in nociceptive neurons, we studied the following groups of rats: (1) untreated; (2) spinal nerve axotomy (SNA), L5 SNA 1 week earlier; (3) mSNA (modified SNA), SNA plus loose ligation of the adjacent L4 spinal nerve with inflammation-inducing chromic gut; and (4) CFA (complete Freund’s adjuvant), intradermal complete Freund’s adjuvant-induced hindlimb inflammation 1 and 4 d earlier. In all groups, recordings of SFL and of spontaneous activity (SA) in ipsilateral dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons (intracellularly) were made. Evoked pain behaviors were measured in nerve injury (SNA/mSNA) groups. Percentages of nociceptive-type C-fiber neurons (C-nociceptors) with SA increased in intact L4 but not axotomized L5 DRGs in SNA and mSNA (to 35%), and in L4/L5 DRGs 1–4 d after CFA (to 38–25%). SFL occurred in mSNA but not SNA rats. It was not correlated with mechanical allodynia, extent of L4 fiber damage [ATF3 (activation transcription factor 3) immunostaining], or percentage of L4 C-nociceptors with SA. However, L4 C-nociceptors with SA fired faster after mSNA (1.8 Hz) than SNA (0.02 Hz); estimated L4 total firing rates were ?5.0 and ?0.6 kHz, respectively. Similarly, after CFA, faster L4 C-nociceptor SA after 1 d was associated with SFL, whereas slower SA after 4 d was not. Thus, inflammation causes L4 C-nociceptor SA and SFL. Overall, SFL was related to SA rate in intact C-nociceptors. Both L5 degeneration and chromic gut cause inflammation. Therefore, both SA and SFL/spontaneous pain after nerve injury (mSNA) may result from cumulative neuroinflammation.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3388-05.2006
Uncontrolled keywords: dorsal root ganglion, DRG, pain, neuropathic pain, neuroinflammation, C-fiber, spontaneous pain
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology (Living systems)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Medway School of Pharmacy
Depositing User: Stella Koutsikou
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2017 17:21 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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