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      D2-like receptors in the descending dopaminergic pathway are not involved in the decreased postoperative nociceptive threshold induced by plantar incision in adult rats

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          Approximately half of all patients who undergo surgery develop postoperative pain, the mechanisms of which are not well understood by anesthesiologists. D2-like receptors in the descending dopaminergic pathway play an important role in regulation of pain transmission in the spinal cord. Impairment of inhibitory neurons in the spinal cord is suggested as part of the mechanism for neuropathic pain, which is one component of postoperative pain. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether impairment of D2-like receptors in the descending dopaminergic pathway in the spinal cord is involved in the decreased postoperative nociceptive threshold in rats.


          Male Sprague-Dawley rats (250–300 g) were anesthetized with sevoflurane and an intrathecal (IT) catheter was implanted. Six days later, a plantar incision was made. On the following day, saline, a D2-like receptor agonist (quinpirole), or a D2-like receptor antagonist (sulpiride) was administered intrathecally. Thermal and mechanical nociceptive responses were assessed by exposure to infrared radiant heat and the von Frey filament test before and after plantar incision.


          Plantar incision decreased both thermal latency and the mechanical nociceptive threshold. IT administration of quinpirole inhibited the nociceptive responses induced by plantar incision, but sulpiride had no effect.


          A D2-like receptor agonist had antinociceptive effects on the hypersensitivity response triggered by a surgical incision, but a D2-like receptor antagonist had no effect on this response. These results suggest that impairment and/or modification of D2-like receptors in the descending dopaminergic pathway in the spinal cord is not involved in the postoperative decrease in nociceptive threshold.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Chronic catheterization of the spinal subarachnoid space.

          To administer drugs into the spinal subarachnoid space of unanesthetized and intact rats and rabbits, a procedure is described whereby a polyethylene catheter (PE-10) may be inserted through a puncture of the atlanto-occipital membrane and secured to the skull. Calibration experiments carried out with bromophenol blue dye, 3H-naloxone and 14C-urea revealed first, that there was little rostro-caudal diffusion of the injectate along the spinal axis and secondly, that even for compounds such as naloxone which can rapidly permeate neural tissues, the levels which do appear in the brain are small following the spinal subarachnoid administration of the drug. Control injections, administered either acutely or repeatedly over a prolonged period of time, had no detectable effect on the animal's behavior. These observations, as well as the lack of pathology in the spinal cords of rats having such catheters for periods of up to 4 months suggests that the implant is well tolerated.
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            Novel class of pain drugs based on antagonism of NGF.

            Nerve growth factor (NGF) was identified originally as a survival factor for sensory and sympathetic neurons in the developing nervous system. In adults, NGF is not required for survival but it has a crucial role in the generation of pain and hyperalgesia in several acute and chronic pain states. The expression of NGF is high in injured and inflamed tissues, and activation of the NGF receptor tyrosine kinase trkA on nociceptive neurons triggers and potentiates pain signalling by multiple mechanisms. Inhibition of NGF function and signalling blocks pain sensation as effectively as cyclooxygenase inhibitors and opiates in rodent models of pain. Several pharmaceutical companies have active drug-discovery and development programs that are based on a variety of approaches to antagonise NGF, including NGF 'capture', blocking the binding of NGF to trkA and inhibiting trkA signalling. NGF antagonism is expected to be a highly effective therapeutic approach in many pain states, and to be free of the adverse effects of traditional analgesic drugs.
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              In vivo patch-clamp analysis of dopaminergic antinociceptive actions on substantia gelatinosa neurons in the spinal cord.

              To elucidate the mechanisms of antinociception mediated by the dopaminergic descending pathway in the spinal cord, we investigated the actions of dopamine (DA) on substantia gelatinosa (SG) neurons by in vivo whole-cell patch-clamp methods. In the voltage-clamp mode (V(H)=-70mV), the application of DA induced outward currents in about 70% of SG neurons tested. DA-induced outward current was observed in the presence of either Na(+) channel blocker, tetrodotoxin (TTX) or a non-NMDA receptor antagonist, CNQX, and was inhibited by either GDP-β-S in the pipette solution or by perfusion of a non-selective K(+) channel blocker, Ba(2+). The DA-induced outward currents were mimicked by a selective D2-like receptor agonist, quinpirole and attenuated by a selective D2-like receptor antagonist, sulpiride, indicating that the DA-induced outward current is mediated by G-protein-activated K(+) channels through D2-like receptors. DA significantly suppressed the frequency and amplitude of glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). DA also significantly decreased the frequency of miniature EPSCs in the presence of TTX. These results suggest that DA has both presynaptic and postsynaptic inhibitory actions on synaptic transmission in SG neurons. We showed that DA produced direct inhibitory effects in SG neurons to both noxious and innocuous stimuli to the skin. Furthermore, electrical stimulation of dopaminergic diencephalic spinal neurons (A11), which project to the spinal cord, induced outward current and suppressed the frequency and amplitude of EPSCs. We conclude that the dopaminergic descending pathway has an antinociceptive effect via D2-like receptors on SG neurons in the spinal cord. Copyright © 2010 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                21 October 2016
                : 9
                : 865-869
                Division of Dento-oral Anesthesiology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Eiji Masaki, Division of Dento-oral Anesthesiology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry, 4-1 Seiryomachi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan, Tel/Fax +81 22 717 8401, Email ejmasaki@ 123456m.tohoku.ac.jp
                © 2016 Ohtani and Masaki. 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.

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