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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Feb 2020 - 21 Feb 2020

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Feb 13

Brain Res

Effects of mTOR inhibitors on neuropathic pain revealed by optical imaging of the insular cortex in rats.



In the pain matrix, the insular cortex (IC) is mainly involved in discriminative sensory and motivative emotion. Abnormal signal transmission from injury site causes neuropathic pain, which generates enhanced synaptic plasticity. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex is the key regulator of protein synthesis; it is involved in the modulation of synaptic plasticity. To date, there has been no report on the changes in optical signals in the IC under neuropathic condition after treatment with mTOR inhibitors, such as Torin1 and XL388. Therefore, we aimed to determine the pain-relieving effect of mTOR inhibitors (Torin1 and XL388) and observe the changes in optical signals in the IC after treatment. Mechanical threshold was measured in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats after neuropathic surgery, and therapeutic effect of inhibitors was assessed on post-operative day 7 following the microinjection of Torin1 or XL388 into the IC. Optical signals were acquired to observe the neuronal activity of the IC in response to peripheral stimulation before and after treatment with mTOR inhibitors. Consequently, the inhibitors showed the most effective alleviation 4 h after microinjection into the IC. In optical imaging, peak amplitudes of optical signals and areas of activated regions were reduced after treatment with Torin1 and XL388. However, there were no significant optical signal changes in the IC before and after vehicle application. These findings suggested that Torin1 and XL388 are associated with the alleviation of neuronal activity that is excessively manifested in the IC, and is assumed to diminish synaptic plasticity.