Background and Objectives: Minocycline is a second-generation tetracycline with multiple biological effects, including inhibition of microglial activation. Recently, microglial activation has been implicated in the development of nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain. In this study, the authors examined the effects of continuous intrathecal minocycline on the development of neuropathic pain and microglial activation induced by L5/6 spinal-nerve ligation in rats. Methods: Under isoflurane anesthesia, male Sprague-Dawley rats (200-250 g) received right L5/6 spinal-nerve ligation and intrathecal catheters connected to an infusion pump. Intrathecal saline or minocycline (2 and 6 μg/h) was given continuously after surgery for 7 days (n = 8 per group). The rat right hind paw withdrawal threshold to von Frey filament stimuli and withdrawal latency to radiant heat were determined before surgery and on days 1 to 7 after surgery. Spinal microglial activation was evaluated with OX-42 immunoreactivity on day 7 after surgery. Results: Spinal-nerve ligation induced mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia on the affected hind paw of saline-treated rats. Intrathecal minocycline (2 and 6 μg/h) prevented the development of mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia induced by nerve ligation. It also inhibited nerve ligation-induced microglial activation, as evidenced by decreased OX-42 staining. No obvious histopathologic change was noted after intrathecal minocycline (6 μg/h) infusion. Conclusions: In this study, the authors demonstrate the preventive effect of continuous intrathecal minocycline on the development of nociceptive behaviors induced by L5/6 spinal-nerve ligation in rats. Further studies are required to examine if continuous intrathecal minocycline could be used safely in the clinical setting.
- Nerve ligation
- Neuropathic pain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine