Jul 20, 2002

Expression of neuron-associated tumor necrosis factor alpha in the brain is increased during persistent pain

Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine
W C CoveyRobert N Spengler


Evidence implicates the pleiotropic cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) in the pathogenesis of persistent pain. The present study employs a chronic constriction injury (CCI) model of neuropathic pain to examine TNFalpha production in the central nervous system (CNS) and in the periphery in this pain model. CCI-induced hyperalgesia is assessed by measuring the nociceptive threshold using the hot-plate test. The development of hyperalgesia is correlated to levels of TNFalpha by assessing: bioactive TNFalpha in homogenates of sciatic nerves, cervical spinal cord, thoracolumbar spinal cord, as well as in plasma using the WEHI-13 variant cytotoxicity bioassay; and mRNA for TNFalpha in sections of locus coeruleus by in situ hybridization. We have previously demonstrated that TNFalpha bioactivity in the region of the brainstem containing the locus coeruleus is increased concurrent with the development of hyperalgesia, returning to baseline values by day 14, when hyperalgesia has ceased. Constitutive levels of TNFalpha are demonstrated in the plasma, sciatic nerves, and cervical and thoracolumbar spinal cord of control rats, sham-operated rats, and rats undergoing CCI. Levels of TNFalpha are significantly elevated in the in...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Pathogenic Aspects
Laboratory Procedures
Salicylhydroxamic acid
Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
Structure of Sciatic Nerve
Entire Brainstem

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