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      Prolonged-duration pulsed radiofrequency is associated with increased neuronal damage without further antiallodynic effects in neuropathic pain model rats

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          Aim of investigation

          Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) is a safe and effective approach for treating neuropathic pain. However, the optimal treatment conditions and analgesic mechanisms of PRF remain unclear. The aim of our study was to assess the beneficial and adverse effects of prolonged-duration PRF and the analgesic mechanisms of PRF treatment with neuropathic pain rats.


          Male Sprague Dawley rats received L5 spinal nerve ligation (SNL) for developing neuropathic pain. Fourteen days after L5 SNL surgery, they were divided into three groups according to duration of PRF current for 6 minutes, 12 minutes, and none. PRF current was delivered via direct visualization adjacent to the L5 dorsal root ganglion (DRG). Pain behavior was evaluated every week after L5 SNL surgery, until day 28. Seven days after PRF treatment, L5 DRG tissue was harvested to detect levels of activating translation factor 3 (ATF3; a marker of neuronal damage) and hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide (HCN)-gated cation channels (key factors in neuropathic pain) using quantitative PCR.


          Before PRF application, withdrawal thresholds were significantly lower than at baseline and did not differ significantly between the three groups. After PRF application, withdrawal thresholds in the PRF6 and PRF12 groups were significantly increased compared to those in the sham group. However, those in the PRF6 and PRF12 groups did not differ significantly. The expression level of ATF3 mRNA in the PRF12 group was significantly higher than that in the sham group ( P<0.01), but the expression of HCN1 and HCN2 channels did not differ significantly between the three groups.


          Prolonged PRF exposure, from 6 to 12 minutes, was not only ineffective but also associated with increased neuronal damage. These findings do not support prolonged PRF exposure as a helpful treatment for neuropathic pain. In this study, the involvement of HCN channels in the antiallodynic effects of PRF was uncertain.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Ethical guidelines for investigations of experimental pain in conscious animals.

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            An experimental model for peripheral neuropathy produced by segmental spinal nerve ligation in the rat.

            We attempted to develop an experimental animal model for peripheral neuropathic pain. Under sodium pentobarbital anesthesia, both the L5 and L6 spinal nerves (group 1) or the L5 spinal nerve alone (group 2) of one side of the rat were tightly ligated. For comparison, a parallel study was conducted with another group of rats (group 3) which received a partial tight sciatic nerve ligation, a paradigm developed previously as a neuropathy model. Withdrawal latencies to application of radiant heat to the foot were tested for the next 16 weeks in all 3 groups. Sensitivity of the hind paw to mechanical stimulation was tested with von Frey filaments. The general behavior of each rat was noted during the entire test period. Results suggested that the surgical procedure in all 3 groups produced a long-lasting hyperalgesia to noxious heat (at least 5 weeks) and mechanical allodynia (at least 10 weeks) of the affected foot. In addition, there were behavioral signs of the presence of spontaneous pain in the affected foot. Therefore, we believe we have developed an experimental animal model for peripheral neuropathy using tight ligations of spinal nerves. The model manifests the symptoms of human patients with causalgia and is compatible with a previously developed neuropathy model. The present model has two unique features. First, the surgical procedure is stereotyped. Second, the levels of injured and intact spinal segments are completely separated, allowing independent experimental manipulations of the injured and intact spinal segments in future experiments to answer questions regarding mechanisms underlying causalgia.
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              Hyperpolarization-activated cation channels: from genes to function.

              Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels comprise a small subfamily of proteins within the superfamily of pore-loop cation channels. In mammals, the HCN channel family comprises four members (HCN1-4) that are expressed in heart and nervous system. The current produced by HCN channels has been known as I(h) (or I(f) or I(q)). I(h) has also been designated as pacemaker current, because it plays a key role in controlling rhythmic activity of cardiac pacemaker cells and spontaneously firing neurons. Extensive studies over the last decade have provided convincing evidence that I(h) is also involved in a number of basic physiological processes that are not directly associated with rhythmicity. Examples for these non-pacemaking functions of I(h) are the determination of the resting membrane potential, dendritic integration, synaptic transmission, and learning. In this review we summarize recent insights into the structure, function, and cellular regulation of HCN channels. We also discuss in detail the different aspects of HCN channel physiology in the heart and nervous system. To this end, evidence on the role of individual HCN channel types arising from the analysis of HCN knockout mouse models is discussed. Finally, we provide an overview of the impact of HCN channels on the pathogenesis of several diseases and discuss recent attempts to establish HCN channels as drug targets.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                30 October 2018
                : 11
                : 2645-2651
                Department of Anesthesiology and Resuscitology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama City, Okayama, Japan, ryuji.kaku@ 123456nifty.com
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ryuji Kaku, Department of Anesthesiology and Resuscitology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama City, Okayama 700-8558, Japan, Tel +81 862 35 7778, Fax +81 862 35 6984, Email ryuji.kaku@ 123456nifty.com
                © 2018 Arakawa et al. 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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