Previous studies showed that heat-hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia produced by chronic constrictive injury of the sciatic nerve were differentially sensitive to the NMDA receptor antagonist dextrorphan and to morphine and other opioid receptor agonists. These results support the hypothesis that different kinds of neuropathic pain symptoms are caused by different pathological mechanisms. In the present study we determined whether mechanical and thermal allodynia produced by unilateral transection of the 'superior' caudal trunk which innervates the tail in rats were differentially sensitive to the non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801. Injection of MK-801 (0.3 mg/kg, i.p.) prior to nerve injury delayed the emergence of both types of allodynia; the antagonist-treated rats exhibited neither mechanical nor thermal allodynia at least for 4 days after the injury, whereas untreated control rats exhibited clear signs of allodynia from the first day after the injury. MK-801 injection on post-injury day 14, when the allodynia was near peak severity, suppressed temporarily both the mechanical and thermal allodynia. These results suggest that the mechanical and thermal allodynia from partial denervation of the tail are both dependent on NMDA receptors in their induction and maintenance. Thus, our results do not support the notion that different pathological mechanisms underlie different modalities of neuropathic pain from partial peripheral nerve injury.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 1997 Aug 12|
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