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The underlying mechanisms of neuropathic pain are poorly understood, and existing treatments are mostly ineffective. We recently demonstrated that antisense mediated "knock-down" of the sodium channel isoform, Na(V)1.8, reverses neuropathic pain behavior after L5/L6 spinal nerve ligation (SNL), implicating a critical functional role of Na(V)1.8 in the(More)
Neurons in the rostroventromedial medulla (RVM) project to spinal loci where the neurons inhibit or facilitate pain transmission. Abnormal activity of facilitatory processes may thus represent a mechanism of chronic pain. This possibility and the phenotype of RVM cells that might underlie experimental neuropathic pain were investigated. Cells expressing(More)
Differential expression of ion channels contributes functional diversity to sensory neuron signaling. We find nerve injury induced by the Chung model of neuropathic pain leads to striking reductions in voltage-gated K(+) (Kv) channel subunit expression in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons, suggesting a potential molecular mechanism for hyperexcitability of(More)
Neuropathic pain is a debilitating chronic syndrome that often arises from injuries to peripheral nerves. Such pain has been hypothesized to be the result of an aberrant expression and function of sodium channels at the site of injury. Here, we show that intrathecal administration of specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) to the peripheral(More)
Many clinical case reports have suggested that sustained opioid exposure can elicit unexpected, paradoxical pain. Here, we explore the possibility that (1) opioid-induced pain results from tonic activation of descending pain facilitation arising in the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) and (2) the presence of such pain manifests behaviorally as(More)
Alterations in sodium channel expression and function have been suggested as a key molecular event underlying the abnormal processing of pain after peripheral nerve or tissue injury. Although the relative contribution of individual sodium channel subtypes to this process is unclear, the biophysical properties of the tetrodotoxin-resistant current, mediated,(More)
Although injury-induced afferent discharge declines significantly over time, experimental neuropathic pain persists unchanged for long periods. These observations suggest that processes that initiate experimental neuropathic pain may differ from those that maintain such pain. Here, the role of descending facilitation arising from developing plasticity in(More)
The nonopioid actions of spinal dynorphin may promote aspects of abnormal pain after nerve injury. Mechanistic similarities have been suggested between opioid tolerance and neuropathic pain. Here, the hypothesis that spinal dynorphin might mediate effects of sustained spinal opioids was explored. Possible abnormal pain and spinal antinociceptive tolerance(More)
Neuropathic pain is often associated with the appearance of pain in regions not related to the injured nerve. One mechanism that may underlie neuropathic pain is abnormal, spontaneous afferent drive which may contribute to NMDA-mediated central sensitization by the actions of glutamate and by the non-opioid actions of spinal dynorphin. In the present study,(More)
Whereas tissue injury increases spinal dynorphin expression, the functional relevance of this upregulation to persistent pain is unknown. Here, mice lacking the prodynorphin gene were studied for sensitivity to non-noxious and noxious stimuli, before and after induction of experimental neuropathic pain. Prodynorphin knock-out (KO) mice had normal responses(More)