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      The search for novel analgesics: targets and mechanisms

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          Abstract

          The management of the pain state is of great therapeutic relevance to virtually every medical specialty. Failure to manage its expression has deleterious consequence to the well-being of the organism. An understanding of the complex biology of the mechanisms underlying the processing of nociceptive information provides an important pathway towards development of novel and robust therapeutics. Importantly, preclinical models have been of considerable use in determining the linkage between mechanism and the associated behaviorally defined pain state. This review seeks to provide an overview of current thinking targeting pain biology, the use of preclinical models and the development of novel pain therapeutics. Issues pertinent to the strengths and weaknesses of current development strategies for analgesics are considered.

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          Most cited references 357

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          Ethical guidelines for investigations of experimental pain in conscious animals.

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            A peripheral mononeuropathy in rat that produces disorders of pain sensation like those seen in man.

             Gary Bennett,  Y. Xie (1988)
            A peripheral mononeuropathy was produced in adult rats by placing loosely constrictive ligatures around the common sciatic nerve. The postoperative behavior of these rats indicated that hyperalgesia, allodynia and, possibly, spontaneous pain (or dysesthesia) were produced. Hyperalgesic responses to noxious radiant heat were evident on the second postoperative day and lasted for over 2 months. Hyperalgesic responses to chemogenic pain were also present. The presence of allodynia was inferred from the nocifensive responses evoked by standing on an innocuous, chilled metal floor or by innocuous mechanical stimulation, and by the rats' persistence in holding the hind paw in a guarded position. The presence of spontaneous pain was suggested by a suppression of appetite and by the frequent occurrence of apparently spontaneous nocifensive responses. The affected hind paw was abnormally warm or cool in about one-third of the rats. About one-half of the rats developed grossly overgrown claws on the affected side. Experiments with this animal model may advance our understanding of the neural mechanisms of neuropathic pain disorders in humans.
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              Spared nerve injury: an animal model of persistent peripheral neuropathic pain.

              Peripheral neuropathic pain is produced by multiple etiological factors that initiate a number of diverse mechanisms operating at different sites and at different times and expressed both within, and across different disease states. Unraveling the mechanisms involved requires laboratory animal models that replicate as far as possible, the different pathophysiological changes present in patients. It is unlikely that a single animal model will include the full range of neuropathic pain mechanisms. A feature of several animal models of peripheral neuropathic pain is partial denervation. In the most frequently used models a mixture of intact and injured fibers is created by loose ligation of either the whole (Bennett GJ, Xie YK. A peripheral mononeuropathy in rat that produces disorders of pain sensation like those seen in man. Pain 1988;33:87-107) or a tight ligation of a part (Seltzer Z, Dubner R, Shir Y. A novel behavioral model of neuropathic pain disorders produced in rats by partial sciatic nerve injury. Pain 1990;43:205-218) of a large peripheral nerve, or a tight ligation of an entire spinal segmental nerve (Kim SH, Chung JM. An experimental model for peripheral neuropathy produced by segmental spinal nerve ligation in the rat. Pain 1992;50:355-363). We have developed a variant of partial denervation, the spared nerve injury model. This involves a lesion of two of the three terminal branches of the sciatic nerve (tibial and common peroneal nerves) leaving the remaining sural nerve intact. The spared nerve injury model differs from the Chung spinal segmental nerve, the Bennett chronic constriction injury and the Seltzer partial sciatic nerve injury models in that the co-mingling of distal intact axons with degenerating axons is restricted, and it permits behavioral testing of the non-injured skin territories adjacent to the denervated areas. The spared nerve injury model results in early ( 6 months), robust (all animals are responders) behavioral modifications. The mechanical (von Frey and pinprick) sensitivity and thermal (hot and cold) responsiveness is increased in the ipsilateral sural and to a lesser extent saphenous territories, without any change in heat thermal thresholds. Crush injury of the tibial and common peroneal nerves produce similar early changes, which return, however to baseline at 7-9 weeks. The spared nerve injury model may provide, therefore, an additional resource for unraveling the mechanisms responsible for the production of neuropathic pain.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                F1000Prime Rep
                F1000Prime Rep
                F1000Prime Reports
                Faculty of 1000 Ltd
                2051-7599
                26 May 2015
                2015
                : 7
                Affiliations
                University of California, San Diego, Department of Anesthesiology 0818 9500 Gilman, Dr. (CTF C-312), La Jolla, CA 92093USA
                Article
                56
                10.12703/P7-56
                4447049
                © 2015 Faculty of 1000 Ltd

                All F1000Prime Reports articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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