To examine a possible involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in visceral pain, the levels of ROS in the colon and the effect of a ROS scavenger phenyl N-t-butylnitrone (PBN) on pain were examined in zymosan-induced colitis rats. Zymosan was instilled into the colon of adult rats. The electromyograms (EMGs) of abdominal muscle contractions in response to colorectal distension (CRD) were recorded as an indicator of visceral pain. After zymosan treatment, the rats showed enhanced EMG and elevated levels of H2O2 in the colon. PBN treatment (intraperitoneal, intrathecal or intracolonic) significantly reduced the enhanced EMGs induced by zymosan. The results suggest that elevated ROS in the spinal cord and the colon are involved in visceral pain.
- Free radical
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