Changes in response properties of nociceptive dorsal horn neurons in a murine model of cancer pain

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Abstract

Pain associated with cancer that metastasizes to bone is often severe and debilitating. A better understanding of the neural mechanisms that mediate cancer pain is needed for the development of more effective treatments. In this study, we used an established model of cancer pain to characterize changes in response properties of dorsal horn neurons. Fibrosarcoma cells were implanted into and around the calcaneus bone in mice and extracellular electrophysiological recordings were made from wide dynamic range (WDR) and high threshold (HT) dorsal horn neurons. Responses of WDR and HT neurons evoked by mechanical, heat, and cold stimuli applied to the plantar surface of the hind paw were compared between tumor bearing mice and control mice. Mice exhibited hyperalgesia to mechanical and heat stimuli applied to their tumor-bearing hind paw. WDR neurons in tumor-bearing mice exhibited an increase in spontaneous activity, and enhanced responses to mechanical, heat, and cold stimuli as compared to controls. Our findings show that sensitization of WDR neurons, but not HT neurons, contributes to tumor-evoked hyperalgesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-644
Number of pages10
JournalSheng li xue bao : [Acta physiologica Sinica]
Volume60
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 25 2008

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