Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Neuroimage. 2017 Nov 15;162:162-172. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.08.078. Epub 2017 Sep 4.

Neurochemical dynamics of acute orofacial pain in the human trigeminal brainstem nuclear complex.

Author information

1
Center of Dental Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Institute for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University Hospital Zurich and University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address: nunomiguel.pratesdematos@zzm.uzh.ch.
2
Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Philips Healthcare, Hamburg, Germany.
3
Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
4
Center of Dental Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
5
Center of Dental Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

The trigeminal brainstem sensory nuclear complex is the first central relay structure mediating orofacial somatosensory and nociceptive perception. Animal studies suggest a substantial involvement of neurochemical alterations at such basal CNS levels in acute and chronic pain processing. Translating this animal based knowledge to humans is challenging. Human related examining of brainstem functions are challenged by MR related peculiarities as well as applicability aspects of experimentally standardized paradigms. Based on our experience with an MR compatible human orofacial pain model, the aims of the present study were twofold: 1) from a technical perspective, the evaluation of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 3 T regarding measurement accuracy of neurochemical profiles in this small brainstem nuclear complex and 2) the examination of possible neurochemical alterations induced by an experimental orofacial pain model. Data from 13 healthy volunteers aged 19-46 years were analyzed and revealed high quality spectra with significant reductions in total N-acetylaspartate (N-acetylaspartate + N-acetylaspartylglutamate) (-3.7%, p = 0.009) and GABA (-10.88%, p = 0.041) during the pain condition. These results might reflect contributions of N-acetylaspartate and N-acetylaspartylglutamate in neuronal activity-dependent physiologic processes and/or excitatory neurotransmission, whereas changes in GABA might indicate towards a reduction in tonic GABAergic functioning during nociceptive signaling. Summarized, the present study indicates the applicability of 1H-MRS to obtain neurochemical dynamics within the human trigeminal brainstem sensory nuclear complex. Further developments are needed to pave the way towards bridging important animal based knowledge with human research to understand the neurochemistry of orofacial nociception and pain.

KEYWORDS:

Brainstem; Dental pain; GABA; Human pain model; N-acetylaspartate NAA; Orofacial pain; Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy; Region-specific neurochemistry; Trigeminal brainstem sensory nuclear complex TBSNC

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for Zurich Open Access Repository and Archive
Loading ...
Support Center