Modulation of neuropathic pain behavior in rats by spinal disinhibition and NMDA receptor blockade of injury discharge

Ze'ev Seltzer*, Sergiu Cohn, Ruth Ginzburg, Ben Zion Beilin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When a peripheral nerve is severed, damaged sensory fibers emit a barrage of impulses that lasts for many seconds, or even several minutes ('injury discharge'). We have shown in rats that local anesthetic blockade of this discharge suppresses autotomy (a behavioral model of neuropathic pain). Correspondingly, mimicking prolonged injury discharge with electrical stimulation, especially of C-fibers, increased autotomy. These data support the hypothesis that injury discharge plays a role in the triggering of neuropathic pain. The mechanism of triggering autotomy was investigated using intrathecal injection of agents affecting glutamatergic transmission. A single intrathecal injection at the lumbar enlargement of the NMDA receptor blockers MK-801 and 5-APV, just prior to neurectomy, significantly suppressed autotomy. Blocking glycinergic inhibition just prior to neurectomy with a single strychnine injection strikingly enhanced autotomy. Strychnine enhancement of autotomy was prevented by prior injection of MK-801 or 5-APV. These results suggest that the expression of autotomy in rats, and by inference neuropathic pain in humans, is affected by injury discharge, possibly mediated by long-lasting, NMDA receptor-related, spinal disinhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Autotomy
  • NMDA receptor blockade
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Spinal disinhibition


Dive into the research topics of 'Modulation of neuropathic pain behavior in rats by spinal disinhibition and NMDA receptor blockade of injury discharge'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this