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Pain behavior and spinal cell activation due to carrageenan-induced inflammation in two inbred rat strains with differential hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity

, : Pain behavior and spinal cell activation due to carrageenan-induced inflammation in two inbred rat strains with differential hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity. Physiology & Behavior 105(4): 901-908

Lewis (LEW) and Fischer (FIS) inbred rats were used to study the relationship of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity with inflammation-related pain behavior. LEW rats are susceptible to the development of autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders, whereas FIS rats are resistant. Since contradictory data have previously been collected under conditions of acute inflammation, we investigated the onset and maintenance of thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia and spinal activation of neurons and glia cells in a model of ongoing inflammation in both strains. Hind paw volumes and mechanical and thermal pain thresholds were measured prior to and during one week after intraplantar injection of carrageenan. The activation of nociceptive neurons (FosB), astroglia (GFAP) and microglia (OX-42) in the spinal cord of segments L5/L6 was assessed using immunohistochemistry. Inflammation increased paw volume, pain sensitivity and cell activation in both strains. FIS rats were more sensitive to sensory stimulation and developed a more severe edema on day 1, but recovered faster up to day 7 than LEW rats. At that time a higher amount of activated nociceptive neurons and corticosterone was seen in FIS rats, but microglial activation was more pronounced in LEW rats. Our results suggest a biphasic role of the HPA axis in pain behavior and spinal cell activation associated with ongoing inflammation. In the acute stage, the stronger reaction in FIS rats might be explained by an activating effect of corticosteroids on neutrophil function. Under ongoing inflammatory conditions the immunosuppressive actions of corticosteroids may dominate and lead to a quicker recovery of paw volume and pain sensitivity in FIS rats.HPA axis reactivity and inflammatory vulnerability differ in Fischer and Lewis rats One day after inflammation Fischer rats display an enhanced nociceptive sensitivity Lewis rats are more sensitive in ongoing inflammatory conditions FosB/?FosB-labeling remains greater in Fischer rats one week after inflammation At this time Lewis rats exhibit greater microglial activation.


PMID: 22115949

DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.11.008

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