Transgenic mice over-expressing substance P exhibit allodynia and hyperalgesia which are reversed by substance P and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonists
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A transgenic mouse has been developed which, during development, over-expresses nerve growth factor under the control of a myelin basic protein promoter. These animals display an ectopic network of substance P-containing sensory fibers in the white matter of the spinal cord. To study the functional significance of this model to nociception, these mice were studied in a test measuring the latency to tail withdrawal from a noxious radiant heat stimulus. Baseline reaction times were significantly less in transgenic mice, suggesting thermal allodynia. A mechanical stimulus was then applied to the tip of the tail at either 450 g or 1400 g for 2 s and tail withdrawal readings were taken for another 10 min. In control mice, the 450 g stimulus was without effect, suggesting that it is normally innocuous. In transgenic mice, this stimulus induced a transient decrease in withdrawal latency at 1 min. Thus, transgenic mice exhibited mechanical allodynia. The 1400 g stimulus decreased withdrawal latency in both transgenic and control mice. However, the response was greater in transgenic mice, indicating that they exhibited mechanical hyperalgesia. The neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist CP-96,345, but not the inactive stereoisomer CP-96,344, administered subcutaneously 30 min before the 450 g stimulus, blocked the stimulation-induced allodynia in transgenic mice, and revealed a transient antinociception in transgenic and control mice. Ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, given intraperitoneally 10 min before 450 g stimulation, blocked the allodynia in transgenic mice. These results indicate that these transgenic mice display hyperalgesia and allodynia, and that these nociceptive responses are reversed by substance P and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists.
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