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      Differential neuropathic pain sensitivity and expression of spinal mediators in Lewis and Fischer 344 rats

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          Abstract

          Background

          Altered hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity may be accompanied by a modulation of pain sensitivity. In a model of neuropathic pain (chronic constriction injury, CCI) we investigated the onset and maintenance of mechanical allodynia/hyperalgesia and the expression of biochemical mediators potentially involved in spinal cell modulation in two rat strains displaying either hypo- (Lewis-LEW) or hyper- (Fischer 344-FIS) reactivity of the HPA axis.

          Results

          Mechanical pain thresholds and plasmatic corticosterone levels were assessed before and during periods of 4 or 21 days following CCI surgery. At the end of the respective protocols, the mRNA expression of glial cell markers (GFAP and Iba1) and glutamate transporters (EAAT3 and EAAT2) were examined. We observed a correlation between the HPA axis reactivity and the pain behavior but not as commonly described in the literature; LEW rats seemed to be less sensitive than FIS from 4 to 14 days after the CCI surgery when looking at the mechanical allodynia/hyperalgesia. However, the biochemical spinal markers expression we observed is conflicting.

          Conclusion

          We did not find a specific causal relation between the pain behavior and the glial cell activation or the expression of the glutamate transporters, suggesting that the interaction between the HPA axis and the spinal activation pattern is more complex in a context of neuropathic pain.

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          Most cited references 78

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          A new mathematical model for relative quantification in real-time RT-PCR.

           M. Pfaffl (2001)
          Use of the real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify cDNA products reverse transcribed from mRNA is on the way to becoming a routine tool in molecular biology to study low abundance gene expression. Real-time PCR is easy to perform, provides the necessary accuracy and produces reliable as well as rapid quantification results. But accurate quantification of nucleic acids requires a reproducible methodology and an adequate mathematical model for data analysis. This study enters into the particular topics of the relative quantification in real-time RT-PCR of a target gene transcript in comparison to a reference gene transcript. Therefore, a new mathematical model is presented. The relative expression ratio is calculated only from the real-time PCR efficiencies and the crossing point deviation of an unknown sample versus a control. This model needs no calibration curve. Control levels were included in the model to standardise each reaction run with respect to RNA integrity, sample loading and inter-PCR variations. High accuracy and reproducibility (<2.5% variation) were reached in LightCycler PCR using the established mathematical model.
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            Quantitative assessment of tactile allodynia in the rat paw.

             J Pogrel,  F. Bach,  T L Yaksh (1994)
            We applied and validated a quantitative allodynia assessment technique, using a recently developed rat surgical neuropathy model wherein nocifensive behaviors are evoked by light touch to the paw. Employing von Frey hairs from 0.41 to 15.1 g, we first characterized the percent response at each stimulus intensity. A smooth log-linear relationship was observed, with a median 50% threshold at 1.97 g (95% confidence limits, 1.12-3.57 g). Subsequently, we applied a paradigm using stimulus oscillation around the response threshold, which allowed more rapid, efficient measurements. Median 50% threshold by this up-down method was 2.4 g (1.81-2.76). Correlation coefficient between the two methods was 0.91. In neuropathic rats, good intra- and inter-observer reproducibility was found for the up-down paradigm; some variability was seen in normal rats, attributable to extensive testing. Thresholds in a sizable group of neuropathic rats showed insignificant variability over 20 days. After 50 days, 61% still met strict neuropathy criteria, using survival analysis. Threshold measurement using the up-down paradigm, in combination with the neuropathic pain model, represents a powerful tool for analyzing the effects of manipulations of the neuropathic pain state.
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              Microglia: a sensor for pathological events in the CNS.

              The most characteristic feature of microglial cells is their rapid activation in response to even minor pathological changes in the CNS. Microglia activation is a key factor in the defence of the neural parenchyma against infectious diseases, inflammation, trauma, ischaemia, brain tumours and neurodegeneration. Microglia activation occurs as a graded response in vivo. The transformation of microglia into potentially cytotoxic cells is under strict control and occurs mainly in response to neuronal or terminal degeneration, or both. Activated microglia are mainly scavenger cells but also perform various other functions in tissue repair and neural regeneration. They form a network of immune alert resident macrophages with a capacity for immune surveillance and control. Activated microglia can destroy invading micro-organisms, remove potentially deleterious debris, promote tissue repair by secreting growth factors and thus facilitate the return to tissue homeostasis. An understanding of intercellular signalling pathways for microglia proliferation and activation could form a rational basis for targeted intervention on glial reactions to injuries in the CNS.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                BMC Neurosci
                BMC Neurosci
                BMC Neuroscience
                BioMed Central
                1471-2202
                2014
                28 February 2014
                : 15
                : 35
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Laboratory of Neurophysiology & Psychobiology, University of Luxembourg, 162a, avenue de la Faïencerie, Luxembourg, L-1511, Luxembourg
                Article
                1471-2202-15-35
                10.1186/1471-2202-15-35
                3975939
                24575861
                Copyright © 2014 Le Coz et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                Research Article

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