Different inflammatory mediators induce inflammation and pain after application of liquid nitrogen to the skin
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The application of liquid nitrogen to the skin induces inflammation and pain. However, there is little data on the role of inflammatory mediators in the production of these symptoms. We have developed an experimental model to study some aspects of the inflammatory response and its mediators following the application of cold. We have applied liquid nitrogen jets to subcutaneous air pouches in the dorsal skin of rats to study the kinetics of the migration of inflammatory cells; also to the ear for histopathological analysis and on the paws for edema and pain. Inflammatory mediators were identified by pharmacological means. The results showed that the cellular inflammatory response was characterized by persistent cell migration, mainly of granulocytes. Histopathology of the ears confirmed these findings. Histamine and sympathomimetic mediators were mainly responsible for the resultant swelling. However, the hypernociception that resulted involved other mediators including IL-1 and eicosanoids. These data suggest that interference with the release of inflammatory mediators might reduce the side effects of cryosurgery and prevent hyperalgesia and inflammation at the site of application of cold.
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