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Papers: 7 Mar 2020 - 13 Mar 2020

Animal Studies

2020 Mar 05


Effects of intramuscular heating-needle stimulation in controlling adjuvant-induced muscle nociception in rats: differential roles of purinergic P2X3 receptors.


Here we investigated effects of intramuscular (i.m.) heating-needle stimulation on persistent muscle nociception evoked by i.m. injection of different doses (50-200 µl) of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) in rats. Paw withdrawal reflexes evoked by noxious mechanical and heat stimulation as well as hind limb swelling were determined prior to and two weeks after the CFA injection. The unilateral injection of CFA induced a dose-related and long-lasting (5-14d), bilateral secondary mechanical hyperalgesia and heat hypoalgesia associated with long-term limb swelling. A period of 30-45 min 43 °C heating-needle stimulation significantly enhanced the i.m. CFA-induced bilateral heat hypoalgesia and alleviated hind limb swelling. In contrast, 30-45min 46 °C heating-needle stimulation markedly enhanced both mechanical hyperalgesia and heat hypoalgesia, but failed to influence the CFA-induced hind limb swelling. Microinjection of P2X3 receptor antagonist A-317491 (0.5-4.5 nmol/0.5µl) into the thalamic ventromedial (VM) nucleus dose-dependently inhibited the 43 °C and 46 °C heating-needle stimulation-induced heat hypoalgesia, whereas the 46 °C heating-needle stimulation-induced mechanical hyperalgesia was significantly prevented by microinjection of A-317491 into the thalamic mediodorsal (MD) nucleus. In contrast, the hind limb swelling was not affected by the microinjection of A-317491 into the thalamic VM or MD nucleus. The present study indicates that in the CFA-induced persistent muscle nociception condition, 43 °C heating-needle stimulation selectively increases descending inhibition, which effect is modulated by the thalamic VM nucleus. In addition to the antinociceptive role of P2X3 receptors in the thalamic VM nucleus, P2X3 receptors within the thalamic MD nucleus participate in the descending facilitation evoked by i.m. 46 °C heating-needle stimulation.