Differences and Similarities in Spontaneous Activity Between Animal Models of Cancer-Induced Pain and Neuropathic Pain

Yong Fang Zhu, Peter Kan, Gurmit Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Clinical data on cancer-induced pain (CIP) demonstrate widespread changes in sensory function. It is characterized in humans not only by stimulus-invoked pain, but also by spontaneous pain. In our previous studies in an animal model of CIP, we observed changes in intrinsic membrane properties and excitability of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons corresponding to mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia, of which abnormal activities of Aβ-fiber sensory neurons are consistent in a rat model of peripheral neuropathic pain (NEP). Objective: To investigate whether there are related peripheral neural mechanisms between the CIP and NEP models of spontaneous pain, we compared the electrophysiological properties of DRG sensory neurons at 2–3 weeks after CIP and NEP model induction. Methods: CIP models were induced with metastasis tumour-1 rat breast cancer cells implanted into the distal epiphysis of the femur. NEP models were induced with a polyethylene cuff implanted around the sciatic nerve. Spontaneous pain in animals is measured by spontaneous foot lifting (SFL). After measurement of SFL, the animals were prepared for electrophysiological recordings of spontaneous activity (SA) in DRG neurons in vivo. Results: Our data showed that SFL and SA occurred in both models. The proportion of SFL and SA of C-fiber sensory neurons in CIP was more significantly increased than in NEP models. There was no difference in duration of SFL and the rate of SA between the two models. The duration of SFL is related to the rate of SA in C-fiber in both models. Conclusion: Thus, SFL may result from SA activity in C-fiber neurons in CIP and NEP rats. The differences and similarities in spontaneous pain between CIP and NEP rats is related to the proportion and rate of SA in C-fibers, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3179-3187
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pain Research
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer-induced pain
  • electrophysiology recording
  • neuropathic pain
  • sensory neuron
  • spontaneous pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Differences and Similarities in Spontaneous Activity Between Animal Models of Cancer-Induced Pain and Neuropathic Pain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this