Pulsed radiofrequency application reduced mechanical hypersensitivity and microglial expression in neuropathic pain model.Pain Med. 2012 Sep; 13(9):1227-34.PM
Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) procedure has been used in clinical practice for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain conditions without neuronal damage. The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in pain response and glial expression after the application of PRF on a dorsal root ganglion (DRG) in a neuropathic pain model.
A neuropathic pain model (14 female Sprague-Dawley [SD] rats; 200-250 g) was made by a unilateral L5 spinal nerve ligation (SNL) and transection on the distal side of the ligation. The development of mechanical and cold hypersensitivity on the hindpaw was established postoperative day 9 (POD 9). The rats were then randomly assigned to the PRF (+) and the PRF (-) groups. Furthermore, PRF (2 bursts/s, duration = 20 milliseconds, output voltage = 45 V) was applied on the ipsilateral DRG for 180 seconds, with a maximum temperature of 42°C, at POD 10. Pain behaviors were tested throughout the 12 days after PRF. We also examined the changes of the spinal glial expression by immunohistochemistry.
Significant reduction of mechanical hypersensitivity in the PRF (+) group was observed from day 1 after a single PRF procedure and was maintained throughout the following 12 days. Immunoreactivity for OX42 in the ipsilateral dorsal horn also decreased compared with that of the PRF (-) group. However, cold hypersensitivity and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity in the dorsal horn was not affected by a PRF procedure.
Our result demonstrated that the mechanical hypersensitivity, induced by L5 SNL, was attenuated by a PRF procedure on the ipsilateral DRG. This analgesic effect may be associated with an attenuation of the microglial activation in the dorsal horn.