Visceral and Somatic Hypersensitivity in TNBS-Induced Colitis in Rats
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Inflammation of visceral structures in rats has been shown to produce visceral/somatic hyperalgesia. Our objectives were to determine if trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) induced colitis in rats leads to visceral/somatic hypersensitivity. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (200–250 g) were treated with 20 mg of TNBS in 50% ethanol (n = 40) or an equivalent volume of ethanol (n = 40) or saline (n = 25) via the colon. Colonic distension, Von Frey, Hargreaves, and tail reflex tests were used to evaluate for visceral, mechanical, and thermal sensitivity. The rats demonstrated visceral hypersensitivity at 2–28 days following TNBS administration (P < 0.0001). The ethanol-treated rats also demonstrated visceral hypersensitivity that resolved after day 14. TNBS-treated rats demonstrated somatic hypersensitivity at days 14–28 (P < 0.0001) in response to somatic stimuli of the hind paw. TNBS colitis is associated with visceral and somatic hypersensitivity in areas of somatotopic overlap. This model of colitis should allow further investigation into the mechanisms of visceral and somatic hypersensitivity.