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Anesth Analg. 2007 Dec;105(6):1650-6, table of contents.

Secondary hyperalgesia in the postoperative pain model is dependent on spinal calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha activation.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0818, USA.



Spinally administered non-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), but not NMDA, receptor antagonists block primary (1 degree) and secondary (2 degrees) mechanical hyperalgesia and spontaneous pain after plantar incision. Hyperalgesia after thermal stimulation is also mediated by non-NMDA, but not NMDA, receptors. Although previous pain behavior studies in the thermal stimulus model demonstrated distinct protein kinase involvement downstream from spinal non-NMDA receptor activation, protein kinase signaling mechanisms have not been examined in the postoperative pain model. In the present study, we investigated whether spinal calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIalpha (CaMKIIalpha) mediates 1 degree and/or 2 degrees hyperalgesia and spontaneous pain behavior after plantar incision.


Catheterized rats received a 1 cm incision in the hindpaw and were tested over 2 days for responses to mechanical stimulation adjacent to or 1 cm away from the incision site. Some rats received intrathecal (IT) pretreatment with a CaMKIIalpha inhibitor (14, 34, or 104 nmol KN-93) or vehicle (5% dimethyl sulfoxide in sterile saline). Separate groups received IT 34 nmol or 104 nmol KN-93 and were tested for hindpaw weight bearing. Lumbar spinal cords were extracted 1 h after incision or sham treatment to measure phosphorylated CaMKIIalpha and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-proprionic acid GLUR1-831 in Western immunoblots.


Incision increased spinal CaMKIIalpha and GLUR1-831 phosphorylation. Although pretreatment with all doses of IT KN-93 reduced the development of 2 degrees hyperalgesia, only 34 nmol KN-93 appeared to have an effect on 1 degrees hyperalgesia. IT KN-93 did not affect nonevoked pain.


Spinal sensitization underlying incision-evoked hyperalgesia involves spinal CaMKIIalpha activation and enhanced spinal alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-proprionic acid receptor (AMPA) function.

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