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American Society for Action on Pain

UI - 000132

AU - Sagen J

AU - Wang H

AU - Pappas GD

TI - Adrenal medullary implants in the rat spinal cord reduce nociception in a chronic pain model

AB - Previous work in this laboratory has indicated that the transplantation of adrenal medullary tissue into

the subarachnoid space of the rat spinal cord can reduce pain sensitivity to acute noxious stimuli, particularly

following stimulation by nicotine. This most likely results from the stimulated release of opioid peptides and

catecholamines from the transplanted chromaffin cells. However, chronic pain models may more closely

resemble human clinical pain, and the arthritic rat model has been used for screening potential therapeutic

strategies. The purpose of the present study was to assess the potential for adrenal medullary tissue

implanted into the spinal subarachnoid space to alleviate chronic pain. Adrenal medullary tissue was

implanted into adjuvant-induced arthritic rats, and changes in body weight and vocalization responses were

monitored over the 10 week course of the disease. Results indicate that the severe weight reduction

normally associated with this inflammatory arthritis was attenuated by adrenal medullary, but not control,

implants. In addition, vocalizations were reduced in animals implanted with adrenal medullary, but not

control tissue following nicotine stimulation. This reduction was blocked by the opiate antagonist, naloxone,

and partially attenuated by the alpha-adrenergic antagonist, phentolamine. Together, these results suggest

that the transplantation of adrenal medullary tissue into the subarachnoid space of the spinal cord may

provide a local source of opioid peptides and catecholamines for the reduction of chronic pain

SO - Pain 1990;42:69-7