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Pain Research and Management
Volume 19 (2014), Issue 4, Pages 205-211
Original Article

The Antiallodynic Action of Pregabalin May Depend on the Suppression of Spinal Neuronal Hyperexcitability in Rats with Spared Nerve Injury

Lei Ding,1 Jie Cai,2 Xiang-Yang Guo,1 Xiu-Li Meng,1 and Guo-Gang Xing2

1Department of Anesthesiology, Peking University Third Hospital, China
2Neuroscience Research Institute and Department of Neurobiology, Peking University, Key Laboratory for Neuroscience of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Health, Beijing, China

Copyright © 2014 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


BACKGROUND: Pregabalin (PGB) is a novel antiepileptic drug and is also used as a first-line medication for the treatment of neuropathic pain. However, the mechanisms of its analgesic effects remain largely unknown.

OBJECTIVES: To elucidate the mechanisms underlying the antiallodynic action of PGB in rats with neuropathic pain.

METHODS: In a rat model of neuropathic pain induced by spared nerve injury, mechanical allodynia, as a behavioural sign of neuropathic pain, was assessed by measuring 50% paw withdrawal threshold with von Frey filaments. Activities of dorsal horn wide dynamic range (WDR) neurons were examined by extracellular electrophysiological recording in vivo.

RESULTS: Spinal administration of PGB exerted a significant antiallodynic effect and a prominent inhibitory effect on the hypersensitivity of dorsal horn WDR neurons in rats with spared nerve injury.

CONCLUSION: The antiallodynic action of PGB is likely dependent on the suppression of WDR neuron hyperexcitability in rats with neuropathic pain.