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Transcranial direct current stimulation effects in the pain threshold and in oxidative stress parameters of neuropathic pain rats.

Neuroscience Letters 2023 April 24
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can modulate cortical excitability and relieve neuropathic pain (NP), but the role of several biomarkers in this process is not well understood. This study aimed to analyze the effects of tDCS on biochemical parameters in rats with neuropathic pain (NP) induced by chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the right sciatic nerve. Eighty-eight male 60-day-old Wistar rats were divided into nine groups: control (C), control-electrode off (CEoff), control-tDCS (C-tDCS), sham-lesion (SL), sham-lesion electrode off (SLEoff), sham-lesion (SL-tDCS), lesion (L), lesion electrode off (LEoff), and lesion-tDCS (L-tDCS). After NP establishment, 20-minute bimodal tDCS for 8 consecutive days was applied to the rats. Fourteen days after the induction of NP, rats developed mechanical hyperalgesia with a decreased threshold, and at the end of treatment, an increase in the pain threshold was observed in NP rats. In addition, NP rats had increased levels of reactive species (RS) in the prefrontal cortex, while superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was decreased in NP rats. In the spinal cord, nitrite levels and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity decreased in the L-tDCS group, and it was observed that increased levels in total sulfhydryl content for neuropathic pain rats were reversed by tDCS. In serum analyses, the neuropathic pain model increased the levels of RS and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and decreased the activity of butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE). In conclusion, bimodal tDCS increased total sulfhydryl content in the spinal cord of rats with neuropathic pain, positively modulating this parameter.

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