Application of oxytocin with low-level laser irradiation suppresses the facilitation of cortical excitability by partial ligation of the infraorbital nerve in rats: An optical imaging study.Brain Res 2020; 1728:146588BR
The effects of current treatments for neuropathic pain are limited. Oxytocin is a novel candidate substance to relieve neuropathic pain, as demonstrated in various animal models with nerve injury. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is another option for the treatment of neuropathic pain. In this study, we quantified the effects of oxytocin or LLLT alone and the combination of oxytocin and LLLT on cortical excitation induced by electrical stimulation of the dental pulp using optical imaging with a voltage-sensitive dye in the neuropathic pain model with partial ligation of the infraorbital nerve (pl-ION). We applied oxytocin (OXT, 0.5 μmol) to the rat once on the day of pl-ION locally to the injured nerve. LLLT using a diode laser (810 nm, 0.1 W, 500 s, continuous mode) was performed daily via the skin to the injured nerve from the day of pl-ION to 2 days after pl-ION. Cortical responses to electrical stimulation of the mandibular molar pulp under urethane anesthesia were recorded 3 days after pl-ION. Both the amplitude and area of excitation in the primary and secondary somatosensory and insular cortices in pl-ION rats were larger than those in sham rats. The larger amplitude of cortical excitation caused by pl-ION was suppressed by OXT or LLLT. The expanded area of cortical excitation caused by pl-ION was suppressed by OXT with LLLT but not by OXT or LLLT alone. These results suggest that the combined application of OXT and LLLT is effective in relieving the neuropathic pain induced by trigeminal nerve injury.