Critical role of the capsaicin-sensitive nerve fibers in the development of the causalgic symptoms produced by transecting some but not all of the nerves innervating the rat tail

Yang In Kim, Sik Na Heung Sik Na, Soo Han Jung Soo Han, Kil Hong Seung Kil Hong

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44 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the role of capsaicin-sensitive small diameter fibers in the development of the thermal and mechanical allodynia in a new rat model for neuropathic pain, produced by transacting some but not all of the nerves innervating the tail. Capsaicin (50 mg/kg, s.c.) injected neonatally prior to the nerve injury produced thermal hypoalgesia in the tail the degree of which was variable across individual rats, presumably as a result of variable degeneration of the small diameter fibers. When subjected to the nerve injury, the animals with moderate thermal hypoalgesia exhibited signs of pain (e.g., tail flick) to normally innocuous mechanical stimuli applied to the tall with von Fray hairs (4.9 mN or 19.6 mN bending force), but not to thermal stimuli given by immersion of the tall into cold (4°C) or warm (40°C) water. The animals with marked thermal hypoalgesia, on the other hand, exhibited no signs of pain either to the mechanical or to the thermal stimuli. These results suggest that the capsaicin-sensitive fibers are critical in the development of both the mechanical and thermal allodynia. It is hypothesized that the destruction of Aδ- and C-nociceptive fibers by capsaicin prevented activities induced in these fibers by the nerve injury from producing a central sensitization and thus allodynia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4133-4139
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Jan 1



  • allodynia
  • animal model
  • C- fibers
  • capsaicin
  • causalgia
  • neuropathic pain
  • spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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