JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Models and mechanisms of hyperalgesia and allodynia

Jürgen Sandkühler
Physiological Reviews 2009, 89 (2): 707-58
19342617
Hyperalgesia and allodynia are frequent symptoms of disease and may be useful adaptations to protect vulnerable tissues. Both may, however, also emerge as diseases in their own right. Considerable progress has been made in developing clinically relevant animal models for identifying the most significant underlying mechanisms. This review deals with experimental models that are currently used to measure (sect. II) or to induce (sect. III) hyperalgesia and allodynia in animals. Induction and expression of hyperalgesia and allodynia are context sensitive. This is discussed in section IV. Neuronal and nonneuronal cell populations have been identified that are indispensable for the induction and/or the expression of hyperalgesia and allodynia as summarized in section V. This review focuses on highly topical spinal mechanisms of hyperalgesia and allodynia including intrinsic and synaptic plasticity, the modulation of inhibitory control (sect. VI), and neuroimmune interactions (sect. VII). The scientific use of language improves also in the field of pain research. Refined definitions of some technical terms including the new definitions of hyperalgesia and allodynia by the International Association for the Study of Pain are illustrated and annotated in section I.

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