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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Mar 2019 - 15 Mar 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Jan-Dec

Mol Pain


Longitudinal FDG-PET scan study of brain changes in mice with cancer-induced bone pain and after morphine analgesia.


Lin W-Y, Chu W-H, Chao T-H H, Sun W-Z, Yen C-T
Mol Pain. 2019 Jan-Dec; 15:1744806919841194.
PMID: 30868934.


Morphine is the most commonly used drug for treating physical and psychological suffering caused by advanced cancer. Although morphine is known to elicit multiple supraspinal analgesic effects, its behavioral correlates with respect to the whole brain metabolic activity during cancer-induced bone pain have not been elucidated. We injected 4T1 mouse breast cancer cells into the left femur bone marrow cavity of BALB/c mice. All mice developed limb use deficits, mechanical allodynia, and hypersensitivity to cold, which were effectively suppressed with morphine. Serial 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) was performed for each mouse before cancer induction (0 d), after cancer-induced bone pain was established (14 d), and during effective morphine treatment (16 d). The longitudinal FDG-PET imaging analysis demonstrated that cancer-induced bone pain increased glucose uptake in the insular cortex and hypothalamus and decreased the activity of the retrosplenial cortex. Morphine reversed the activation of the insular cortex and hypothalamus. Furthermore, morphine activated the amygdala and rostral ventromedial medulla and suppressed the activity of anterior cingulate cortex. Our findings of hypothalamic and insular cortical activation support the hypothesis that cancer-induced bone pain has strong inflammatory and affective components in freely moving animals. Morphine may provide descending inhibitory and facilitatory actions in the treatment of cancer-induced bone pain in a clinical setting.