I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Jun 2019 - 14 Jun 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Oct

Exp Neurol


Enhanced descending pain facilitation in acute traumatic brain injury.


Irvine K-A, Sahbaie P, Ferguson AR, Clark DJ
Exp Neurol. 2019 Oct; 320:112976.
PMID: 31185197.


Acute and persistent pain are recognized consequences of TBI that can enhance suffering and significantly impair rehabilitative efforts. Both experimental models and clinical studies suggest that TBI may result in an imbalance between descending pain facilitatory and inhibitory pathways. The aim of this study was to assess the role of enhanced descending serotonin-mediated pain facilitation in a rat TBI model using selective spinal serotonergic fiber depletion with 5, 7-dihydroxytryptamine (DHT). We observed significant hindpaw allodynia in TBI rats that was reduced after DHT but not vehicle treatment. Immunohistochemical studies demonstrated profound spinal serotonin depletion in DHT-treated rats. Furthermore, lumbar intrathecal administration of the 5-HT receptor antagonist ondansetron at 7 days post-injury (DPI), when hindpaw allodynia was maximal, also attenuated nociceptive sensitization. Additional immunohistochemical analyses of the lumbar spinal cord at 7 DPI revealed a robust bilateral microglial response in the superficial dorsal horns that was significantly reduced with DHT treatment. Furthermore, serotonin depletion also prevented the TBI-induced bilateral increase in c-Fos positive cells within the Rexed laminae I and II of the dorsal horns. These results indicate that in the weeks following TBI, pain may be responsive to 5-HT receptor antagonists or other measures which rebalance descending pain modulation.