JOURNAL ARTICLE

Quickly responding C-fibre nociceptors contribute to heat hypersensitivity in the area of secondary hyperalgesia

Cédric Lenoir, Léon Plaghki, André Mouraux, Emanuel N van den Broeke
Journal of Physiology 2018, 596 (18): 4443-4455
29992559

KEY POINTS: A recent animal study showed that high frequency electrical stimulation (HFS) of C-fibres induces a gliogenic heterosynaptic long-term potentiation at the spinal cord that is hypothesized to mediate secondary hyperalgesia in humans. Here this hypothesis was tested by predominantly activating C-fibre nociceptors in the area of secondary mechanical hyperalgesia induced by HFS in humans. It is shown that heat perception elicited by stimuli predominantly activating C-fibre nociceptors is greater, as compared to the control site, after HFS in the area of secondary mechanical hyperalgesia. This is the first study that confirms in humans the involvement of C-fibre nociceptors in the changes in heat sensitivity in the area of secondary mechanical hyperalgesia induced by HFS.

ABSTRACT: It has recently been shown that high frequency electrical stimulation (HFS) of C-fibres induces a gliogenic heterosynaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) at the spinal cord in animals, which has been hypothesized to be the underlying mechanism of secondary hyperalgesia in humans. Here we tested this hypothesis using a method to predominantly activate quickly responding C-fibre nociceptors in the area of secondary hyperalgesia induced by HFS in humans. HFS was delivered to one of the two volar forearms in 18 healthy volunteers. Before, 20 min and 45 min after HFS, short-lasting (10 ms) high-intensity CO2 laser heat stimuli delivered to a very small area of the skin (0.15 mm2 ) were applied to the area of increased mechanical pinprick sensitivity at the HFS-treated arm and the homologous area of the contralateral control arm. During heat stimulation the electroencephalogram, reaction times and intensity of perception (numerical rating scale 0-100) were measured. After HFS, we observed a greater heat sensitivity, an enhancement in the number of detected trials, faster reaction times and an enhancement of the N2 wave of C-fibre laser-evoked potentials at the HFS-treated arm compared to the control arm. This is the first study that confirms in humans the involvement of C-fibre nociceptors in enhanced heat sensitivity in the area of secondary mechanical hyperalgesia induced by HFS.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
29992559
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"