Altered neuropathic pain behaviour in a rat model of depression is associated with changes in inflammatory gene expression in the amygdala
Burke, Nikita N.
Finn, David P.
Kerr, Daniel M.
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Burke, NN,Geoghegan, E,Kerr, DM,Moriarty, O,Finn, DP,Roche, M (2013) 'Altered neuropathic pain behaviour in a rat model of depression is associated with changes in inflammatory gene expression in the amygdala'. Genes Brain And Behavior, 12 :705-713.
The association between chronic pain and depression is widely recognized, the comorbidity of which leads to a heavier disease burden, increased disability and poor treatment response. This study examined nociceptive responding to mechanical and thermal stimuli prior to and following L5-L6 spinal nerve ligation (SNL), a model of neuropathic pain, in the olfactory bulbectomized (OB) rat model of depression. Associated changes in the expression of genes encoding for markers of glial activation and cytokines were subsequently examined in the amygdala, a key brain region for the modulation of emotion and pain. The OB rats exhibited mechanical and cold allodynia, but not heat hyperalgesia, when compared with sham-operated counterparts. Spinal nerve ligation induced characteristic mechanical and cold allodynia in the ipsilateral hindpaw of both sham and OB rats. The OB rats exhibited a reduced latency and number of responses to an innocuous cold stimulus following SNL, an effect positively correlated with interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10 mRNA expression in the amygdala, respectively. Spinal nerve ligation reduced IL-6 and increased IL-10 expression in the amygdala of sham rats. The expression of CD11b (cluster of differentiation molecule 11b) and GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein), indicative of microglial and astrocyte activation, and IL-1 in the amygdala was enhanced in OB animals when compared with sham counterparts, an effect not observed following SNL. This study shows that neuropathic pain-related responding to an innocuous cold stimulus is altered in an animal model of depression, effects accompanied by changes in the expression of neuroinflammatory genes in the amygdala.