Characterization of heat-hyperalgesia in an experimental trigeminal neuropathy in rats
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Secondary trigeminal neuralgia (STN) follows an injury to the trigeminal nerve or one of its branches. Although rare, this condition results in great suffering and it is notoriously difficult to treat. The experimental analysis of painful neuropathy due to damage to the innervation of the limbs (e.g., the sciatic nerve) has progressed rapidly in recent years, but very few reports have appeared concerning experimental neuropathy in the trigemenial region. We report here an experimental rat model of trigeminal neuropathic pain produced by a chronic constriction injury to the infraorbital nerve (CCI-ION), and on a method that detects heat-evoked pain-related behavior. Rats with the CCI-ION have clear signs of heat-hyperalgesia when stimulated on the snout (the vibrissal pad). The hyperalgesia is seen both ipsi- and contralateral to the side of nerve injury, but is significantly more severe ipsilaterally, and lasts about 12 days.
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