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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 368678, 13 pages
Research Article

Nerve Regenerative Effects of GABA-B Ligands in a Model of Neuropathic Pain

1Dip. Scienze Farmacologiche e Biomolecolari, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via G. Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milan, Italy
2Blond McIndoe Laboratories, Institute of Inflammation and Repair, Faculty of Life Science, The University of Manchester, 3.107 Stopford Building, Manchester M13 9PT, UK
3Hand Surgery Department, St. Joseph MultiMedica Hospital of Milan, Via San Vittore 12, 20123 Milan, Italy
4Dip. Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via L. Mangiagalli 31, 20133 Milan, Italy
5Dip. Scienze Cliniche e di Comunità, Plastic Surgery School, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via San Barnaba 22, 20122 Milan, Italy

Received 12 January 2014; Revised 13 May 2014; Accepted 11 June 2014; Published 15 July 2014

Academic Editor: Xiaofeng Jia

Copyright © 2014 Valerio Magnaghi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neuropathic pain arises as a direct consequence of a lesion or disease affecting the peripheral somatosensory system. It may be associated with allodynia and increased pain sensitivity. Few studies correlated neuropathic pain with nerve morphology and myelin proteins expression. Our aim was to test if neuropathic pain is related to nerve degeneration, speculating whether the modulation of peripheral GABA-B receptors may promote nerve regeneration and decrease neuropathic pain. We used the partial sciatic ligation- (PSL-) induced neuropathic model. The biochemical, morphological, and behavioural outcomes of sciatic nerve were analysed following GABA-B ligands treatments. Simultaneous 7-days coadministration of baclofen (10 mg/kg) and CGP56433 (3 mg/kg) alters tactile hypersensitivity. Concomitantly, specific changes of peripheral nerve morphology, nerve structure, and myelin proteins (P0 and PMP22) expression were observed. Nerve macrophage recruitment decreased and step coordination was improved. The PSL-induced changes in nociception correlate with altered nerve morphology and myelin protein expression. Peripheral synergic effects, via GABA-B receptor activation, promote nerve regeneration and likely ameliorate neuropathic pain.