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      Co-Administered Low Doses Of Ibuprofen And Dexamethasone Produce Synergistic Antinociceptive Effects On Neuropathic Mechanical Allodynia In Rats

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          The traditional analgesics used to treat neuropathic pain such as anticonvulsants, opioids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) lack efficacy and/or carry unpleasant side effects. The present study aimed to investigate the synergistic antinociceptive effects of co-administered low doses of ibuprofen and dexamethasone in rats with trigeminal neuropathic pain.

          Materials and methods

          A Sprague-Dawley rat model for trigeminal neuropathic pain was produced using mal-positioned dental implants. The left mandibular second molar was extracted under anesthesia and replaced with a miniature dental implant to induce injury to the inferior alveolar nerve.


          Monotherapy with intraperitoneal injection of high-dose ibuprofen (30 mg/kg) or dexamethasone (10 mg/kg) but not low-dose ibuprofen (1, 5, 10 mg/kg) or dexamethasone (0.01, 1 mg/kg) attenuated the neuropathic mechanical allodynia in the rats with inferior alveolar nerve injury. We examined the synergistic antinociceptive effects of co-administered ibuprofen (5 mg/kg) and dexamethasone (0.01, 0.1, 1 mg/kg). The early co-administration of ibuprofen (5 mg/kg) with dexamethasone (0.1, 1 mg/kg) on postoperative days (POD) 1–3 significantly inhibited mechanical allodynia before the pain had been established. We also observed the synergistic antinociceptive effects of the same doses the combined treatment on mechanical allodynia on POD 7–9, when the pain had already been established. The attenuation of c-fos immuno-positive cells in the ipsilateral trigeminal subnucleus caudalis after the intraperitoneal co-administration of ibuprofen (5 mg/kg) with dexamethasone (1 mg/kg) confirmed these synergistic antinociceptive effects. Moreover, the magnitude of the effects of this co-administration was comparable with that of gabapentin both before and after the pain had been established.


          These results suggest that a combination of ibuprofen and dexamethasone at low doses is an alternative therapeutic strategy for neuropathic pain and provide a rationale for the use of such drug combinations in patients who are unable to tolerate high-dose monotherapy.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Mechanisms of neuropathic pain.

          Neuropathic pain refers to pain that originates from pathology of the nervous system. Diabetes, infection (herpes zoster), nerve compression, nerve trauma, "channelopathies," and autoimmune disease are examples of diseases that may cause neuropathic pain. The development of both animal models and newer pharmacological strategies has led to an explosion of interest in the underlying mechanisms. Neuropathic pain reflects both peripheral and central sensitization mechanisms. Abnormal signals arise not only from injured axons but also from the intact nociceptors that share the innervation territory of the injured nerve. This review focuses on how both human studies and animal models are helping to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these surprisingly common disorders. The rapid gain in knowledge about abnormal signaling promises breakthroughs in the treatment of these often debilitating disorders.
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            Spinal cord mechanisms of pain.

            The spinal cord is the first relay site in the transmission of nociceptive information from the periphery to the brain. Sensory signals are transmitted from the periphery by primary afferent fibres into the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, where these afferents synapse with intrinsic spinal dorsal horn neurones. Spinal projection neurones then convey this information to higher centres in the brain, where non-noxious and noxious signals can be perceived. During nociceptive transmission, the output of the spinal cord is dependent on various spinal mechanisms which can either increase or decrease the activity of dorsal horn neurones. Such mechanisms include local excitatory and inhibitory interneurones, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation, and descending influences from the brainstem, which can be both inhibitory and excitatory in nature. After nerve injury or conditions of inflammation, shifts can occur in these excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms which modulate spinal excitability, often resulting in the heightened response of dorsal neurones to incoming afferent signals, and increased output to the brain, a phenomenon known as central sensitization. In this review, we consider the ways in which spinal cord activity may be altered in chronic pain states. In addition, we discuss the spinal mechanisms which are targeted by current analgesics used in the management of chronic pain.
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              Inflammation in joint injury and post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

              Inflammation is a variable feature of osteoarthritis (OA), associated with joint symptoms and progression of disease. Signs of inflammation can be observed in joint fluids and tissues from patients with joint injuries at risk for development of post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). Furthermore, inflammatory mechanisms are hypothesized to contribute to the risk of OA development and progression after injury. Animal models of PTOA have been instrumental in understanding factors and mechanisms involved in chronic progressive cartilage degradation observed after a predisposing injury. Specific aspects of inflammation observed in humans, including cytokine and chemokine production, synovial reaction, cellular infiltration and inflammatory pathway activation, are also observed in models of PTOA. Many of these models are now being utilized to understand the impact of post-injury inflammatory response on PTOA development and progression, including risk of progressive cartilage degeneration and development of chronic symptoms post-injury. As evidenced from these models, a vigorous inflammatory response occurs very early after joint injury but is then sustained at a lower level at the later phases. This early inflammatory response contributes to the development of PTOA features including cartilage erosion and is potentially modifiable, but specific mediators may also play a role in tissue repair. Although the optimal approach and timing of anti-inflammatory interventions after joint injury are yet to be determined, this body of work should provide hope for the future of disease modification tin PTOA.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                30 October 2019
                : 12
                : 2959-2968
                [1 ]Department of Dental Hygiene, Kyungwon University , Gumi, Korea
                [2 ]Department of Oral Physiology, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University , Daegu, Korea
                [3 ]Department of Dental Hygiene, Dong-Eui University , Busan, Korea
                [4 ]Department of Oral Anatomy, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University , Daegu, Korea
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Dong K Ahn Department of Oral Physiology, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University , 2177 Dalgubeol-daero, Chung-gu, Daegu41940, KoreaTel +82-53-660-6840 Email dkahn@knu.ac.kr

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2019 Park et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 5, References: 39, Pages: 10
                Original Research


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