, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 609–619 | Cite as

Behavioral models of pain states evoked by physical injury to the peripheral nerve

Preclinical Models of Neuropathic Pain


Physical injury or compression of the root, dorsal root ganglion, or peripheral sensory axon leads to well-defined changes in biology and function. Behaviorally, humans report ongoing painful dysesthesias and aberrations in function, such that an otherwise innocuous stimulus will yield a pain report. These behavioral reports are believed to reflect the underlying changes in nerve function after injury, wherein increased spontaneous activity arises from the neuroma and dorsal root ganglion and spinal changes increase the response of spinal projection neurons. These pain states are distinct from those associated with tissue injury and pose particular problems in management. To provide for developing an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of these pain states and to promote development of therapeutic agents, preclinical models involving section, compression, and constriction of the peripheral nerve or compression of the dorsal root ganglion have been developed. These models give rise to behaviors, which parallel those observed in the human after nerve injury. The present review considers these models and their application.

Key Words

Tactile allodynia spontaneous pain dorsal root ganglion nerve compression autotomy 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of California, San DiegoLa Jolla

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