Secondary mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia depend on descending facilitation mediated by spinal 5-HT₄, 5-HT₆ and 5-HT₇ receptors

B Godínez-Chaparro, F J López-Santillán, P Orduña, V Granados-Soto
Neuroscience 2012 October 11, 222: 379-91
In the present study we determined the role of spinal 5-hydroxytriptamine (5-HT) and 5-HT(4/6/7) receptors in the long-term secondary mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia induced by formalin in the rat. Formalin produced acute nociceptive behaviors (flinching and licking/lifting) followed by long-term secondary mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia in both paws. In addition, formalin increased the tissue content of 5-HT in the ipsilateral, but not contralateral, dorsal part of the spinal cord compared to control animals. Intrathecal (i.t.) administration of 5,7-dihydroxytriptamine (5,7-DHT), a serotonergic neurotoxin, diminished tissue 5-HT content in the ipsilateral and contralateral dorsal parts of the spinal cord. Accordingly, i.t. 5,7-DHT prevented formalin-induced secondary allodynia and hyperalgesia in both paws. I.t. pre-treatment (-10 min) with ML-10302 (5-HT(4) agonist), EMD-386088 (5-HT(6) agonist) and LP-12 (5-HT(7) agonist) significantly increased secondary mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia in both paws. In contrast, i.t. pre-treatment (-20 min) with GR-125487 (5-HT(4) antagonist), SB-258585 (5-HT(6) antagonist) and SB-269970 (5-HT(7) antagonist) significantly prevented formalin-induced long-term effects in both paws. In addition, these antagonists prevented the pro-nociceptive effect of ML-10302, EMD-386088 and LP-12, respectively. The i.t. post-treatment (6 days after formalin injection) with GR-125487, SB-258585 and SB-269970 reversed formalin-induced secondary allodynia and hyperalgesia in both paws. These results suggest that spinal 5-HT, released from the serotonergic projections in response to formalin injection, activates pre- or post-synaptic 5-HT(4/6/7) receptors at the dorsal root ganglion/spinal cord promoting the development and maintenance of secondary allodynia and hyperalgesia.

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