Dorsal Root Ganglion Field Stimulation Prevents Inflammation and Joint Damage in a Rat Model of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Bin Pan, Zhiyong Zhang, Dongman Chao, Quinn H. Hogan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objectives: Electrical stimulation of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), referred to here as ganglionic field stimulation (GFS), is effective in reducing clinical pain, probably by interrupting transmission of afferent impulse trains on sensory neurons as they pass through the DRG. We therefore tested whether efferent impulse trains conveyed by sensory neurons, which contribute to neurogenic inflammation, may also be interrupted by GFS. Materials and Methods: Collagen-induced arthritis, a model of clinical rheumatoid arthritis, was initiated in rats concurrently with the insertion of an electrode for GFS at the fourth lumbar DRG. Continuous GFS (20 Hz pulse rate, current at 80% of the motor threshold) was initiated 6 days later and continued for 14 days. Plantar pain sensitivity, ankle arthritis score, and dimensions of the foot and ankle were determined one hour after termination of GFS. Results: The foot/ankle contralateral to GFS developed hypersensitivity to threshold and noxious mechanical stimulation, swelling, and high arthritis score, all of which were normalized in the foot/ankle ipsilateral with GFS. Histology showed GFS limited joint destruction. Electrophysiological recording showed GFS can block efferent impulse trains. Conclusions: Our findings show that GFS can reduce neurogenic inflammation and the resulting joint damage in a model of rheumatoid arthritis, probably by blocking the transit of impulse trains through the DRG. GFS may have clinical utility in limiting joint destruction in inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Collagen-induced arthritis
  • dorsal root ganglion
  • neurogenic inflammation
  • neuromodulation
  • rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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