Specific contribution of lumbar spinal mechanisms to persistent nociceptive responses in the formalin test
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To determine whether a lumbar spinal mechanism mediates the late phase of the nociceptive response in the formalin test, we compared the effects of intrathecal (i.t.) lidocaine given pre- or post-formalin at the lumbar or thoracic level. Pre- but not post-formalin administration of lidocaine to the lumbar level significantly attenuated late phase nociceptive responses. In contrast, neither pre- nor post-formalin administration of lidocaine to the mid-thoracic level altered nociceptive responses. In rats chronically spinalized at the mid-thoracic level, nociceptive responses to formalin were observed which were blocked by i.t. pre-treatment with lidocaine at the lumbar level. These results suggest that a specific lumbar spinal mechanism is involved in the initiation of persistent nociception in the formalin test.
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