Role of oxidative stress in pathophysiology of peripheral neuropathy and modulation by N-acetyl-L-cysteine in rats.Eur J Pain. 2006 Oct; 10(7):573-9.EJ
The objectives of this study were to examine the role of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress in peripheral neuropathy and behavioural pain responses in experimentally induced chronic constriction injury (CCI) of sciatic nerve of rat. Effect of N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) administered intraperitoneally, was also investigated on CCI-induced neuropathic pain in rats.
Neuropathy was induced by CCI of the right sciatic nerve in ketamine anaesthetized rats. Effect of intraperitoneally administered NAC in rats was also investigated using nociceptive behavioural tests. Malondialdehyde, an index of oxidative stress and antioxidant enzymes was also estimated in ligated sciatic nerve.
Behavioural tests, mechanical, thermal and cold stimuli confirmed the development of neuropathic pain after the CCI. The malondialdehyde levels of ligated sciatic nerves were significantly increased compared to non-ligated sciatic nerves (sham operated). The antioxidant enzyme reduced, glutathione was inhibited, while superoxide dismutase increased. However, catalase remained unaffected in the injured sciatic nerves. Intraperitoneal administration of NAC resulted in significant reduction of hyperalgesia in CCI-induced neuropathic rats.
This study identifies antioxidants superoxide dismutase and reduced glutathione, and oxidative stress as important determinants of neuropathological and behavioural consequences of CCI-induced neuropathy, and NAC may be a potential candidate for alleviation of neuropathic pain.