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      Pentoxifylline decreases allodynia and hyperalgesia in a rat model of neuropathic pain

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          Background and the purpose of the study

          Pentoxifylline (PTX) is a non-specific cytokite pain in several animal models and humans. However, long-term therapeutic effects of PTX on neuropathic pain in a rat model of chronic constriction injury (CCI) are not completely clear. This study was conducted to examine the effect of long-term administration of PTX on neuropathic pain in rats.


          Neuropathic pain was induced by sciatic nerve ligation using of CCI model in rats. Rats were randomly assigned into sham, CCI-saline treated, and CCI-PTX treated (30 or 60 mg/kg ip) groups. PTX or saline administered at 30 min before CCI and daily for 14 days post-CCI. At the days of 3, 7, 11 and 14 following CCI, by using standard methods effects of thermal hyperalgesia, thermal and mechanical allodynia in all groups were examined using the standard methods.


          The CCI-saline treated group showed a significant increase in mechanical and thermal allodynia, and thermal hyperalgesia as compared with the sham group in the tested days. Administration of the higher dose of PTX (60 mg/kg/day), but not the lower dose (30 mg/kg/day) significantly reduced mechanical and thermal allodynia, as compared with the CCI–saline treated group on days of 3, 7, 11 and 14 (all P values<0.001). Also, both doses of PTX significantly reduced thermal hyperalgesia as compared with the CCI-saline treated group on these days (all P values<0.001).


          Results of this study show that chronic administration of PTX reduces the neuropathic pain in a rat model of CCI. Thus, this drug may have a therapeutic application in the treatment and management of neuropathic pain in humans.

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          Most cited references 32

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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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            Pathobiology of neuropathic pain.

            This review deals with physiological and biological mechanisms of neuropathic pain, that is, pain induced by injury or disease of the nervous system. Animal models of neuropathic pain mostly use injury to a peripheral nerve, therefore, our focus is on results from nerve injury models. To make sure that the nerve injury models are related to pain, the behavior was assessed of animals following nerve injury, i.e. partial/total nerve transection/ligation or chronic nerve constriction. The following behaviors observed in such animals are considered to indicate pain: (a) autotomy, i.e. self-attack, assessed by counting the number of wounds implied, (b) hyperalgesia, i.e. strong withdrawal responses to a moderate heat stimulus, (c) allodynia, i.e. withdrawal in response to non-noxious tactile or cold stimuli. These behavioral parameters have been exploited to study the pharmacology and modulation of neuropathic pain. Nerve fibers develop abnormal ectopic excitability at or near the site of nerve injury. The mechanisms include unusual distributions of Na(+) channels, as well as abnormal responses to endogenous pain producing substances and cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). Persistent abnormal excitability of sensory nerve endings in a neuroma is considered a mechanism of stump pain after amputation. Any local nerve injury tends to spread to distant parts of the peripheral and central nervous system. This includes erratic mechano-sensitivity along the injured nerve including the cell bodies in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) as well as ongoing activity in the dorsal horn. The spread of pathophysiology includes upregulation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in axotomized neurons, deafferentation hypersensitivity of spinal neurons following afferent cell death, long-term potentiation (LTP) of spinal synaptic transmission and attenuation of central pain inhibitory mechanisms. In particular, the efficacy of opioids at the spinal level is much decreased following nerve injury. Repeated or prolonged noxious stimulation and the persistent abnormal input following nerve injury activate a number of intracellular second messenger systems, implying phosphorylation by protein kinases, particularly protein kinase C (PKC). Intracellular signal cascades result in immediate early gene (IEG) induction which is considered as the overture of a widespread change in protein synthesis, a general basis for nervous system plasticity. Although these processes of increasing nervous system excitability may be considered as a strategy to compensate functional deficits following nerve injury, its by-product is widespread nervous system sensitization resulting in pain and hyperalgesia. An important sequela of nerve injury and other nervous system diseases such as virus attack is apoptosis of neurons in the peripheral and central nervous system. Apoptosis seems to induce neuronal sensitization and loss of inhibitory systems, and these irreversible processes might be in common to nervous system damage by brain trauma or ischemia as well as neuropathic pain. The cellular pathobiology including apoptosis suggests future strategies against neuropathic pain that emphasize preventive aspects.
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              Adalimumab, a fully human anti tumor necrosis factor-alpha monoclonal antibody, and concomitant standard antirheumatic therapy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: results of STAR (Safety Trial of Adalimumab in Rheumatoid Arthritis).

              This study, known as STAR (Safety Trial of Adalimumab in Rheumatoid Arthritis), evaluated the safety and efficacy of adalimumab (Humira), a fully human monoclonal tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) antibody, when given with standard antirheumatic therapy in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) not adequately responding to such therapies. Standard antirheumatic therapy included traditional disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD), low dose corticosteroids, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID), and/or analgesics. In this 24-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 636 patients with RA were randomly assigned to receive adalimumab 40 mg subcutaneously (sc) every other week (n = 318) or placebo (n = 318) while continuing standard antirheumatic therapy. The frequencies of adverse events, serious adverse events, severe or life-threatening adverse events, adverse events leading to withdrawal, infection, or serious infection were the primary endpoints. Secondary endpoints were determined by American College of Rheumatology (ACR) response criteria. During the study, the majority of patients received concomitant traditional DMARD (83.5%) and/or corticosteroids, NSAID, and/or analgesics (97.3%). Overall, 56.0% of patients continued treatment with one, 23.6% with 2, and 3.9% with > or = 3 traditional DMARD. At 24 weeks, there were no statistically significant differences between the adalimumab and placebo groups in their respective rates of adverse events (86.5% vs 82.7%), serious adverse events (5.3% vs 6.9%), severe or life-threatening adverse events (11.9% vs 15.4%), or those leading to withdrawal (2.8% vs 2.2%). There were also no statistically significant differences in the rates of infections (52.2% vs 49.4%) or serious infections (1.3% vs 1.9%) between the groups. The incidence and types of adverse events did not vary between adalimumab- and placebo-treated patients by the number of concomitant traditional DMARD (0, 1, or 2). Adalimumab-treated patients compared with placebo-treated patients achieved statistically superior ACR20 (52.8% vs 34.9%), ACR50 (28.9% vs 11.3%), and ACR70 (14.8% vs 3.5%) response rates at Week 24 (p < or = 0.001). This study demonstrated that addition of adalimumab 40 mg given sc every other week to concomitant standard antirheumatic therapy is well tolerated and provides significant improvements in signs and symptoms of RA. The data indicate that adalimumab is a safe and effective therapeutic option in patients with active RA who have an inadequate response to standard antirheumatic therapy, including one or more traditional DMARD, corticosteroids, NSAID, and analgesics.

                Author and article information

                DARU : Journal of Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences
                Tehran University of Medical Sciences
                : 19
                : 4
                : 306-311
                Research Center and Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran
                Author notes
                © 2011 Tehran University of Medical Sciences

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.

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