Modality of hyperalgesia tested, not type of nerve damage, predicts pharmacological sensitivity in rat models of neuropathic pain

Amynah Amir Ali Pradhan, Xiao Hong Yu, Jennifer M.A. Laird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Although many types of nerve damage can cause neuropathic pain, there are substantial commonalities in neuropathic pain symptoms, and patients can be divided into sub-groups based on their symptom profile rather than etiology. Mechanism-based treatment suggests that pharmacotherapy should be chosen be based shared commonalities of symptoms rather than etiology. The aim of the present study was to determine whether type of injury (etiology) or behavioral endpoint (symptom) is a better predictor of pharmacological responsivity in the most commonly used rodent models of neuropathic pain. We used the chronic constriction injury (CCI) model to directly compare the temporal and pharmacological characteristics of four different types of evoked stimuli; heat, pressure, acetone cooling and punctate mechanical. We then compared heat hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia endpoints across etiologies using the spinal nerve ligation (SNL) model. Evoked pain responses in both models had strikingly different temporal characteristics. We then tested three standard therapies for neuropathic pain from different drug classes, oxycodone, gabapentin, and amitriptyline. Notably, regardless of the model tested, or the time of onset, common endpoints showed near-identical pharmacological responses, and not all endpoints were equally sensitive to drug intervention within one model. Hypersensitivity to heat and pressure were highly responsive to oxycodone, gabapentin, and amitriptyline; whereas cold and mechanical allodynia were more difficult to reverse. Moreover, CCI- and SNL-induced mechanical allodynia was completely insensitive to amitriptyline treatment. We conclude that regardless of model and time course of presentation, different symptoms of peripheral neuropathy have unique pharmacological responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-509
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Chronic constriction injury
  • Chronic pain
  • Mechanism-based pain management
  • Rat
  • Spinal nerve ligation


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