The aim of this study was to examine and delineate the differences in adrenergic sensitivity of mechanical allodynic behavior among various strains of rats. Neuropathic injury was produced by tight ligation of the L5 and L6 spinal nerves in several strains of rats. The degree of mechanical allodynic behavior was estimated by measuring the mechanical threshold for paw flinching with von Frey filaments. Adrenergic sensitivity of the allodynic behavior was resolved by measuring changes of the mechanical threshold after intraperitoneal injection of phentolamine, an α-adrenergic receptor antagonist. Injection of phentolamine caused a significant but small increase in the thresholds for paw flinching in rats of most of the tested strains; however, in Lewis rats, the resulting threshold increase was extensive enough to eliminate allodynic behavior almost completely. It is concluded that there is a difference in adrenergic sensitivity to mechanical allodynic behavior among different strains of neuropathic rats. In particular, rats of the Lewis strain were extremely sensitive to systemic injection of an α-adrenergic receptor blocker.
- Mechanical allodynia
- Sympathetically maintained pain
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