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      Analgesic effects of intra-articular botulinum toxin Type B in a murine model of chronic degenerative knee arthritis pain

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          To evaluate the analgesic effectiveness of intra-articular botulinum toxin Type B (BoNT/B) in a murine model of chronic degenerative arthritis pain.

          Methods and materials:

          Chronic arthritis was produced in adult C57Bl6 mice by intra-articular injection of Type IV collagenase into the left knee. Following induction of arthritis, the treatment group received intra-articular BoNT/B. Arthritic control groups were treated with intra-articular normal saline or sham injections. Pain behavior testing was performed prior to arthritis, after induction of arthritis, and following treatments. Pain behavior measures included analysis of gait impairment (spontaneous pain behavior) and joint tenderness evaluation (evoked pain response). Strength was measured as ability to grasp and cling.


          Visual gait analysis showed significant impairment of gait in arthritic mice that improved 43% after intra-articular BoNT/B, demonstrating a substantial articular analgesic effect. Joint tenderness, measured with evoked pain response scores, increased with arthritis induction and decreased 49.5% after intra-articular BoNT/B treatment. No improvement in visual gait scores or decrease in evoked pain response scores were found in the control groups receiving intra-articular normal saline or sham injections. Intra-articular BoNT/B was safe, and no systemic effects or limb weakness was noted.


          This study is the first report of intra-articular BoNT/B for analgesia in a murine model of arthritis pain. The results of this study validate prior work using intra-articular neurotoxins in murine models. Our findings show chronic degenerative arthritis pain can be quantitated in a murine model by measuring gait impairment using visual gait analysis scores (spontaneous pain behavior) and joint tenderness scores (evoked pain responses). Reduction of joint pain seen in this study is consistent with our hypothesis of inhibition of release of pain mediators by intra-articular BoNT/B, supporting further investigation of this novel approach to treatment of arthritis pain with intra-articular neurotoxins.

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          Most cited references 20

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          A controlled trial of arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee.

          Many patients report symptomatic relief after undergoing arthroscopy of the knee for osteoarthritis, but it is unclear how the procedure achieves this result. We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of arthroscopy for osteoarthritis of the knee. A total of 180 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were randomly assigned to receive arthroscopic débridement, arthroscopic lavage, or placebo surgery. Patients in the placebo group received skin incisions and underwent a simulated débridement without insertion of the arthroscope. Patients and assessors of outcome were blinded to the treatment-group assignment. Outcomes were assessed at multiple points over a 24-month period with the use of five self-reported scores--three on scales for pain and two on scales for function--and one objective test of walking and stair climbing. A total of 165 patients completed the trial. At no point did either of the intervention groups report less pain or better function than the placebo group. For example, mean (+/-SD) scores on the Knee-Specific Pain Scale (range, 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more severe pain) were similar in the placebo, lavage, and débridement groups: 48.9+/-21.9, 54.8+/-19.8, and 51.7+/-22.4, respectively, at one year (P=0.14 for the comparison between placebo and lavage; P=0.51 for the comparison between placebo and débridement) and 51.6+/-23.7, 53.7+/-23.7, and 51.4+/-23.2, respectively, at two years (P=0.64 and P=0.96, respectively). Furthermore, the 95 percent confidence intervals for the differences between the placebo group and the intervention groups exclude any clinically meaningful difference. In this controlled trial involving patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, the outcomes after arthroscopic lavage or arthroscopic débridement were no better than those after a placebo procedure.
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            Evidence for antinociceptive activity of botulinum toxin type A in pain management.

             K. Aoki (2015)
            The neurotoxin, botulinum toxin type A, has been used successfully, in some patients, as an analgesic for myofascial pain syndromes, migraine, and other headache types. The toxin inhibits the release of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, at the neuromuscular junction thereby inhibiting striated muscle contractions. In the majority of pain syndromes where botulinum toxin type A is effective, inhibiting muscle spasms is an important component of its activity. Even so, the reduction of pain often occurs before the decrease in muscle contractions suggesting that botulinum toxin type A has a more complex mechanism of action than initially hypothesized. Current data points to an antinociceptive effect of botulinum toxin type A that is separate from its neuromuscular activity. The common biochemical mechanism, however, remains the same between botulinum toxin type A's effect on the motor nerve or the sensory nerve: enzymatic blockade of neurotransmitter release. The antinociceptive effect of the toxin was reported to block substance P release using in vitro culture systems. The current investigation evaluated the in vivo mechanism of action for the antinociceptive action of botulinum toxin type A. In these studies, botulinum toxin type A was found to block the release of glutamate. Furthermore, Fos, a product of the immediate early gene, c-fos, expressed with neuronal stimuli was prevented upon peripheral exposure to the toxin. These findings suggest that botulinum toxin type A blocks peripheral sensitization and, indirectly, reduces central sensitization. The recent hypothesis that migraine involves both peripheral and central sensitization may help explain how botulinum toxin type A inhibits migraine pain by acting on these two pathways. Further research is needed to determine whether the antinociceptive mechanism mediated by botulinum toxin type A affects the neuronal signaling pathways that are activated during migraine.
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              The structure and mode of action of different botulinum toxins.

              The seven serotypes (A-G) of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) are proteins produced by Clostridium botulinum and have multifunctional abilities: (i) they target cholinergic nerve endings via binding to ecto-acceptors (ii) they undergo endocytosis/translocation and (iii) their light chains act intraneuronally to block acetylcholine release. The fundamental process of quantal transmitter release occurs by Ca2+-regulated exocytosis involving sensitive factor attachment protein-25 (SNAP-25), syntaxin and synaptobrevin. Proteolytic cleavage by BoNT-A of nine amino acids from the C-terminal of SNAP-25 disables its function, causing prolonged muscle weakness. This unique combination of activities underlies the effectiveness of BoNT-A haemagglutinin complex in treating human conditions resulting from hyperactivity at peripheral cholinergic nerve endings. In vivo imaging and immunomicroscopy of murine muscles injected with type A toxin revealed that the extended duration of action results from the longevity of its protease, persistence of the cleaved SNAP-25 and a protracted time course for the remodelling of treated nerve-muscle synapses. In addition, an application in pain management has been indicated by the ability of BoNT to inhibit neuropeptide release from nociceptors, thereby blocking central and peripheral pain sensitization processes. The widespread cellular distribution of SNAP-25 and the diversity of the toxin's neuronal acceptors are being exploited for other therapeutic applications.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of pain research
                Dove Medical Press
                06 September 2010
                : 3
                : 161-168
                [1 ]Rheumatology Section, Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota;
                [2 ]Division of Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Stephanie R Anderson, VA Medical Center, Rheumatology (111-R), One Veteran’s Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA, Tel +1 612 467 4190, Fax +1 612 467 2267, Email drsranderson@ 123456gmail.com
                © 2010 Anderson et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                intra-articular bont/b, osteoarthritis


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