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Ann Transl Med. 2019 Dec;7(23):767. doi: 10.21037/atm.2019.11.73.

Evaluation of the brain functional activities in rats various location-endometriosis pain model.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China.
Physical Education College, Soochow University, Suzhou 215000, China.
Air Force Characteristic Medical Center, PLA Air Force Medical University, Beijing 100142, China.



Endometriosis (EM) is a common gynecological disease in women of reproductive age. These patients in approximately 80% suffer the various degree pain. This study will investigate synergistically the mechanism of the higher-position central sensitization and offer a pre-clinical experiment evidence for treatment of various location-EM patients with pain.


Twenty Sprague-Dawley rats were induced three types EM including abdominal EM (n=5), gastrocnemius EM (n=5) and ovary EM group (n=5) and one sham control group (n=5). All groups were measured the pain sensitization by hotplate test, then scanned by the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) date was analyzed using regional homogeneity (ReHo) approach to find out the abnormal functional activity brain regions. Nissl staining method observed the state of neurons in aberrant ReHo signal brain regions.


Rats with EM pain sensitization were increased in abdominal EM and gastrocnemius EM than ovary EM group and sham control. The ReHo value is decreased in gastrocnemius EM in right thalamus and left olfactory tubercle compared with other three groups. The number of neurons was decreased; cavitation around nucleus, and pyknotic homogenous nuclei. Nissl bodies were stained deeply, and the shape was irregular in gastrocnemius EM by Nissl staining in right thalamus. In left olfactory tubercle, there was no significant difference in 4 groups.


The thalamus may be the potential key brain region for the central sensitization mechanism of various location-EM pain. The oxidative activation may be weakened in thalamus in gastrocnemius EM group with more severe pain. This finding could lend support for future research on the imageology and pathology of various location-EM pain.


Various location-endometriosis; brain functional activities; central sensitization; models; pain; regional homogeneity (ReHo); resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI)

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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