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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Sep 2022 - 16 Sep 2022

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Sep 07

J Pain

Cellular mechanisms mediating the antinociceptive effect of botulinum toxin A in a rodent model of trigeminal irritation by a foreign body.


Although numerous studies have described botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) efficacy against trigeminal neuralgia (TN), the underlying cellular mechanisms remain unclear. We have investigated cellular mechanisms that mediate the antinociceptive effect of BTX-A in a rodent model of TN produced by compression of the trigeminal nerve root (TNR). Anesthetized male Sprague-Dawley rats were fixed in a stereotaxic instrument and compression of the TNR was then achieved with a 4% agar solution. This model produced significant mechanical allodynia and increased the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and cytokines levels including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in the trigeminal ganglion (TG) by postoperative day (POD) 7. Single or double treatments with a high BTX-A dose (3 U/kg) led to significantly prolonged antinociceptive effects. Furthermore, a single treatment with BTX-A (3 U/kg) significantly suppressed the upregulation of HIF-1α expression and IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α concentrations in the TG. Intraganglionic injection of PX-12, a HIF-1α inhibitor, led to significant anti-allodynic effects and lowered the IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α levels in the TG. These findings indicate that the antinociceptive effect of BTX-A is mediated via HIF-1α associated cytokines modulation in the TG and is therefore a potentially relevant treatment strategy for TN. PERSPECTIVE: The antinociceptive properties of BTX-A in a rat model of trigeminal neuralgia are mediated through the regulation of the HIF-1α associated cytokine pathway in the trigeminal ganglion. BTX-A is therefore a potentially effective treatment strategy for trigeminal neuralgia.