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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Mar 2022 - 1 Apr 2022


Animal Studies

2022 Mar 27

Eur J Pharmacol

Trigeminal neuropathic pain reduces 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations in rats, which are restored by analgesic drugs.


IvannaAraya E, Baggio D F, de Oliveira Koren L, Schwarting RKW, Chichorro J G
Eur J Pharmacol. 2022 Mar 27:174905.
PMID: 35354072.


Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a severe form of neuropathic pain frequently associated with anxiety. The chronic constriction injury of the infraorbital nerve (CCI-ION) of rodents is a well-established model to study sensory alterations related to TN. However, few studies have addressed the emotional component of pain, which is fundamental to increase its translational capability. Emission of ultrasonic vocalization (USV) is considered a reliable measure of the emotional state of rats. Rats emit 50-kHz USVs in social and appetitive situations, whereas 22-kHz USVs may index a negative state. Studies suggest that persistent pain causes reduction in 50-kHz calls, but this may also indicate anxiety-like behavior. Thus, we hypothesize that CCI-ION would decrease 50-kHz calls and that pharmacological pain relief would restore USVs, without interfering with anxiety-like behavior. On day 15 after surgery, male rats were treated with local lidocaine, midazolam or carbamazepine to determine their effect on facial mechanical hyperalgesia, USV and anxiety-like behavior. The results showed that CCI-ION induced hyperalgesia, which was attenuated by lidocaine or carbamazepine, developed anxiety-like behavior, which was reduced only by midazolam, and displayed a reduced number of 50-kHz calls, compared to sham. Lidocaine and carbamazepine increased 50-kHz calls emitted by CCI-ION rats, but midazolam failed to change them. These data add information on the translational aspects of CCI-ION model and carbamazepine treatment for trigeminal neuropathic pain. Furthermore, they suggest that the reduction of USV in persistent pain conditions is related to spontaneous pain and reinforce the idea that it reflects the emotional component of pain.