• Amplified parabrachial nucleus activity in a rat model of trigeminal neuropathic pain

      Uddin, O.; Studlack, P.; Akintola, T. (Elsevier B.V., 2018)
      The parabrachial (PB) complex mediates both ascending nociceptive signaling and descending pain modulatory information in the affective/emotional pain pathway. We hypothesized that PB hyperactivity influences chronic pain behavior after trigeminal nerve injury in rats. Following induction of neuropathic pain using the chronic constriction injury of the infraorbital nerve (CCI-ION) model, rats displayed spontaneous markers of pain and mechanical hyperalgesia extending beyond the receptive field of the injured nerve. PB neurons recorded from rats with CCI-ION displayed amplified activity, manifesting as significantly longer responses to sensory stimuli, compared to shams. These findings suggest that chronic neuropathic pain involves PB hyperactivity. Copyright 2018 The Authors
    • In search of a rodent model of placebo analgesia in chronic orofacial neuropathic pain

      Akintola, T.; Tricou, C.; Raver, C. (Elsevier B.V., 2019)
      All treatments are given in a context, suggesting that conditioning cues may significantly influence therapeutic outcomes. We tested the hypothesis that context affects placebo analgesia in rodents. To produce neuropathic pain in rats, we performed chronic constriction injury of the infraorbital nerve. We then treated the rats daily, over a seven day period, with injections of either fentanyl or saline, with or without associated conditioning cues; a fourth group received no treatment. On the eighth day, we replaced fentanyl with saline to test for conditioned placebo analgesia. We tested the effects of treatment by measuring sensitivity to mechanical stimuli and grimace scale scores. We found no significant differences in either of these outcomes among the four experimental groups. These findings suggest that chronic, neuropathic pain in rats may not be susceptible to placebo analgesia.