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Neurosci Lett. 2011 Jan 7;487(2):223-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.10.027. Epub 2010 Oct 20.

Changes in intramuscular cytokine levels during masseter inflammation in male and female rats.

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  • 1University of Maryland Baltimore, Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


The present study was conducted to examine cytokine profiles in the masseter muscle before and after complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced inflammation and possible sex differences in the cytokine levels. Age matched male and female Sprague Dawley rats were injected with CFA in the mid-region of the masseter muscle. Muscle tissue surrounding the injection site was extracted 6h, 1, 3 and 7 days after the injection to measure TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-4 levels with Luminex multi-analyte profiling (xMAP) technology. The cytokine levels were compared to those obtained from naïve rats. CFA injection into the masseter muscle led to a significant time effect in the level of TNF-α compared to that of naïve rats. The pattern of changes in TNF-α level after CFA injection was significantly different between the male and female rats owing to the differences in basal levels. CFA injection induced significant time-dependent increases in the levels of IL-1β and IL-6 in the masseter muscle in both male and female rats. The level of IL-4 was slightly, but significantly, reduced in both sexes at 6h and 3 days after CFA-induced inflammation. No significant sex differences were observed in the levels of IL-1β, IL-6 or IL-4. The results provided novel information about distinct cytokine profiles during CFA-induced muscle inflammation, and the basis for further pursuing contributions of each cytokine in pain processing and analgesic responses in both sexes.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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