Contact Heat Evoked Potentials Are Responsive to Peripheral Sensitization: Requisite Stimulation Parameters.
ABSTRACT: The sensitizing effect of capsaicin has been previously characterized using laser and contact heat evoked potentials (LEPs and CHEPs) by stimulating in the primary area of hyperalgesia. Interestingly, only CHEPs reveal changes consistent with notion of peripheral sensitization (i.e., reduced latencies). The aim of this study was to investigate contact heat stimulation parameters necessary to detect peripheral sensitization related to the topical application of capsaicin, and therefore significantly improve the current method of measuring peripheral sensitization via CHEPs. Rapid contact heat stimulation (70°C/s) was applied from three different baseline temperatures (35, 38.5, and 42°C) to a 52°C peak temperature, before and after the topical application of capsaicin on the hand dorsum. Increased pain ratings in the primary area of hyperalgesia were accompanied by reduced N2 latency. Changes in N2 latency were, however, only significant following stimulation from 35 and 38.5°C baseline temperatures. These findings suggest that earlier recruitment of capsaicin-sensitized afferents occurs between 35 and 42°C, as stimulations from 42°C baseline were unchanged by capsaicin. This is in line with reduced thresholds of type II A-delta mechanoheat (AMH) nociceptors following sensitization. Conventional CHEP stimulation, with a baseline temperature below 42°C, is well suited to objectively detect evidence of peripheral sensitization.
Project description:Induction of the COX-2 isoenzyme appears to play a major role in the genesis of central sensitization after nociceptive stimulation. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of a single, oral dose of the specific COX-2 inhibitor-valdecoxib in attenuating the central sensitization - induced secondary hyperalgesia in a heat/capsaicin pain model in healthy volunteers.The study was a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover, single dose efficacy trial using 20 healthy volunteers. Two hours following placebo or 40 mg, PO valdecoxib, participants underwent skin sensitization with heat/capsaicin, as well as supra-threshold pain and re-kindling measurements according to an established, validated pain model. Subjects rated pain intensity and unpleasantness on a visual analog scale and the area of secondary hyperalgesia was serially mapped.The area of secondary hyperalgesia produced after 40 mg of valdecoxib was no different than that after placebo. Furthermore, there were no significantly relevant differences when volunteers were treated with valdecoxib or placebo in relation to either cold- or hot pain threshold or the intensity of pain after supra-threshold, thermal pain stimulation.We demonstrated that a single, oral dose of valdecoxib when does not attenuate secondary hyperalgesia induced by heat/capsaicin in a cutaneous sensitization pain model in healthy volunteers.
Project description:Although TRPV1 channels represent a key player of noxious heat sensation, the precise mechanisms for thermal hyperalgesia remain unknown. We report here that conditional knockout of deSUMOylation enzyme, SENP1, in mouse dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons exacerbated thermal hyperalgesia in both carrageenan- and Complete Freund's adjuvant-induced inflammation models. TRPV1 is SUMOylated at a C-terminal Lys residue (K822), which specifically enhances the channel sensitivity to stimulation by heat, but not capsaicin, protons or voltage. TRPV1 SUMOylation is decreased by SENP1 but upregulated upon peripheral inflammation. More importantly, the reduced ability of TRPV1 knockout mice to develop inflammatory thermal hyperalgesia was rescued by viral infection of lumbar 3/4 DRG neurons of wild-type TRPV1, but not its SUMOylation-deficient mutant, K822R. These data suggest that TRPV1 SUMOylation is essential for the development of inflammatory thermal hyperalgesia, through a mechanism that involves sensitization of the channel response specifically to thermal stimulation.
Project description:Central sensitization is a driving mechanism in many chronic pain patients, and manifests as hyperalgesia and allodynia beyond any apparent injury. Recent studies have demonstrated analgesic effects of motor cortex (M1) stimulation in several chronic pain disorders, yet its neural mechanisms remain uncertain. We evaluated whether anodal M1 transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) would mitigate central sensitization as measured by indices of secondary hyperalgesia. We used a capsaicin-heat pain model to elicit secondary mechanical hyperalgesia in 27 healthy subjects. In an assessor and subject-blind randomized, sham-controlled, crossover trial, anodal M1 tDCS decreased the intensity of pinprick hyperalgesia more than cathodal or sham tDCS. To elucidate the mechanism driving analgesia, subjects underwent fMRI of painful mechanical stimuli prior to and following induction of the pain model, after receiving M1 tDCS. We hypothesized that anodal M1 tDCS would enhance engagement of a descending pain modulatory (DPM) network in response to mechanical stimuli. Anodal tDCS normalized the effects of central sensitization on neurophysiological responses to mechanical pain in the medial prefrontal cortex, pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, and periaqueductal gray, important regions in the DPM network. Taken together, these results provide support for the hypothesis that anodal M1-tDCS reduces central sensitization-induced hyperalgesia through the DPM network in humans.
Project description:Contact heat evoked potentials (CHEPs) represent a neurophysiological approach to assess conduction in the spinothalamic tract. The aim of this study was to establish normative values of CHEPs acquired from cervical dermatomes (C4, C6, C8) and examine the potential confounds of age, sex, and height. 101 (49 male) healthy subjects of three different age groups (18-40, 41-60, and 61-80 years) were recruited. Normal (NB, 35-52 °C) followed by increased (IB, 42-52 °C) baseline stimulation protocols were employed to record CHEPs. Multi-variate linear models were used to investigate the effect of age, sex, and height on the CHEPs parameters (i.e., N2 latency, N2P2 amplitude, rating of perceived intensity). Compared to NB, IB stimulation reduced latency jitter within subjects, yielding larger N2P2 amplitudes, and decreased inter-subject N2 latency variability. Age was associated with reduced N2P2 amplitude and prolonged N2 latency. After controlling for height, male subjects had significantly longer N2 latencies than females during IB stimulation. The study provides normative CHEPs data in a large cohort of healthy subjects from segmentally examined cervical dermatomes. Age and sex were identified as important factors contributing to N2 latency and N2P2 amplitude. The normative data will improve the diagnosis of spinal cord pathologies.
Project description:The negative side effects of opioid-based narcotics underscore the search for alternative non-opioid bioactive compounds that act on the peripheral nervous system to avoid central nervous system-mediated side effects. The transient receptor potential V1 ion channel (TRPV1) is a peripheral pain generator activated and sensitized by heat, capsaicin, and a variety of endogenous ligands. TRPV1 contributes to peripheral sensitization and hyperalgesia, in part, via triggering the release of proinflammatory peptides, such as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), both locally and at the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Ultrapotent exogenous TRPV1 agonists, such as resiniferatoxin identified in the latex of the exotic Euphorbia resinifera, trigger hyperalgesia followed by long lasting, peripheral analgesia. The present study reports on the analgesic properties of Euphorbia bicolor, a relative of E. resinifera, native to the Southern United States. The study hypothesized that E. bicolor latex extract induces long-lasting, non-opioid peripheral analgesia in a rat model of inflammatory pain. Both inflamed and non-inflamed adult male and female rats were injected with the methanolic extract of E. bicolor latex into the hindpaw and changes in pain behaviors were reassessed at various time points up to 4 weeks. Primary sensory neuron cultures also were treated with the latex extract or vehicle for 15 min followed by stimulation with the TRPV1 agonist capsaicin. Results showed that E. bicolor latex extract evoked significant pain behaviors in both male and female rats at 20 min post-injection and lasting around 1-2 h. At 6 h post-injection, analgesia was observed in male rats that lasted up to 4 weeks, whereas in females the onset of analgesia was delayed to 72 h post-injection. In sensory neurons, latex extract significantly reduced capsaicin-evoked CGRP release. Blocking TRPV1, but not opioid receptors, attenuated the onset of analgesia and capsaicin-induced CGRP release. Latex was analyzed by mass spectrometry and eleven candidate compounds were identified and reported here. These findings indicate that phytochemicals in the E. bicolor latex induce hyperalgesia followed by peripheral, non-opioid analgesia in both male and female rats, which occurs in part via TRPV1 and may provide novel, non-opioid peripheral analgesics that warrant further examination.
Project description:Contact heat evoked potentials (CHEPs) have become an acknowledged research tool in the assessment of the integrity of the nociceptive system and gained importance in the diagnostic work-up of patients with suspected small fiber neuropathy. For the latter, normative values for CHEP amplitude and latency are indispensable for a clinically meaningful interpretation of the results gathered in patients. To this end, CHEPs were recorded in 100 healthy subjects over a wide age range (20-80 years) and from three different dermatomes of the lower extremities (L2, L5, and S2). A normal baseline (35-52?°C) and increased baseline stimulation (42-52?°C) were applied. Statistical analysis revealed significant effects of stimulation site, stimulation intensity, and sex on CHEP parameters (N2 latency, N2P2 amplitude, and NRS). Significant positive correlations of body height with N2 latency, and pain ratings with N2P2 amplitudes were observed. This is the first time that normative values have been obtained from multiple dermatomes of the lower extremities. The present dataset will facilitate the clinical application of CHEPs in the neurophysiological diagnosis of small fiber neuropathy and by discerning pathological findings help establish a proximal-distal gradient of nerve degeneration in polyneuropathies.
Project description:Nociceptors, or pain-sensitive receptors, are unique among sensory receptors in that their sensitivity is increased by noxious stimulation. This process, called sensitization or hyperalgesia, is mediated by a variety of proinflammatory factors, including bradykinin, ATP and NGF, which cause sensitization to noxious heat stimuli by enhancing the membrane current carried by the heat- and capsaicin-gated ion channel, TRPV1. Several different mechanisms for sensitization of TRPV1 have been proposed. Here we show that NGF, acting on the TrkA receptor, activates a signalling pathway in which PI3 kinase plays a crucial early role, with Src kinase as the downstream element which binds to and phosphorylates TRPV1. Phosphorylation of TRPV1 at a single tyrosine residue, Y200, followed by insertion of TRPV1 channels into the surface membrane, explains most of the rapid sensitizing actions of NGF.
Project description:Human evoked pain models can be used to determine the efficacy of new and existing analgesics and to aid in the identification of new targets. Aspects of neuropathic pain can be simulated by inducing hyperalgesia resulting from provoked sensitization. The present literature review aimed to provide insight into the sensitivity of different hyperalgesia and allodynia models of pharmacological treatment.A literature search was performed to identify randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies that included human hyperalgesia pain models and investigated the pharmacodynamic effects of different classes of drugs.Three hyperalgesia models [ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation, capsaicin and thermode burn] have been used extensively. Assessment of hyperalgesia/allodynia and pharmacological effect are measured using challenge tests, which generally comprise thermal (heat/cold) or mechanical stimulation (pin-prick, stroking or impact). The UVB model was sensitive to the antihyperalgesic effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids. The capsaicin model was partially sensitive to opioids. The burn model did not detect any antihyperalgesic effects when NSAIDs or local anaesthetics were administered but responded to the effects of N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists by moderately reducing mechanical hyperalgesia.Based on pharmacological sensitivity, the UVB model adequately reflects inflammatory pain and was sensitive to NSAIDs and opioids. Findings from the capsaicin and burn models raised questions about the translatability of these models to the treatment of neuropathic pain. There is a need for a reproducible and predictive model of neuropathic pain, either in healthy subjects or in patients.
Project description:Abnormal processing of somatosensory inputs in the central nervous system (central sensitization) is the mechanism accounting for the enhanced pain sensitivity in the skin surrounding tissue injury (secondary hyperalgesia). Secondary hyperalgesia shares clinical characteristics with neurogenic hyperalgesia in patients with neuropathic pain. Abnormal brain responses to somatosensory stimuli have been found in patients with hyperalgesia as well as in normal subjects during experimental central sensitization. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of gabapentin, a drug effective in neuropathic pain patients, on brain processing of nociceptive information in normal and central sensitization states. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in normal volunteers, we studied the gabapentin-induced modulation of brain activity in response to nociceptive mechanical stimulation of normal skin and capsaicin-induced secondary hyperalgesia. The dose of gabapentin was 1,800 mg per os, in a single administration. We found that (i) gabapentin reduced the activations in the bilateral operculoinsular cortex, independently of the presence of central sensitization; (ii) gabapentin reduced the activation in the brainstem, only during central sensitization; (iii) gabapentin suppressed stimulus-induced deactivations, only during central sensitization; this effect was more robust than the effect on brain activation. The observed drug-induced effects were not due to changes in the baseline fMRI signal. These findings indicate that gabapentin has a measurable antinociceptive effect and a stronger antihyperalgesic effect most evident in the brain areas undergoing deactivation, thus supporting the concept that gabapentin is more effective in modulating nociceptive transmission when central sensitization is present.
Project description:This study tested a modified experimental model of heat-induced hyperalgesia, which improves the efficacy to induce primary and secondary hyperalgesia and the efficacy-to-safety ratio reducing the risk of tissue damage seen in other heat pain models. Quantitative sensory testing was done in eighteen healthy volunteers before and after repetitive heat pain stimuli (60 stimuli of 48°C for 6 s) to assess the impact of repetitive heat on somatosensory function in conditioned skin (primary hyperalgesia area) and in adjacent skin (secondary hyperalgesia area) as compared to an unconditioned mirror image control site. Additionally, areas of flare and secondary hyperalgesia were mapped, and time course of hyperalgesia determined. After repetitive heat pain conditioning we found significant primary hyperalgesia to heat, and primary and secondary hyperalgesia to pinprick and to light touch (dynamic mechanical allodynia). Acetaminophen (800 mg) reduced pain to heat or pinpricks only marginally by 11% and 8%, respectively (n.s.), and had no effect on heat hyperalgesia. In contrast, the areas of flare (-31%) and in particular of secondary hyperalgesia (-59%) as well as the magnitude of hyperalgesia (-59%) were significantly reduced (all p<0.001). Thus, repetitive heat pain induces significant peripheral sensitization (primary hyperalgesia to heat) and central sensitization (punctate hyperalgesia and dynamic mechanical allodynia). These findings are relevant to further studies using this model of experimental heat pain as it combines pronounced peripheral and central sensitization, which makes a convenient model for combined pharmacological testing of analgesia and anti-hyperalgesia mechanisms related to thermal and mechanical input.