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Brain Res. 1994 Dec 15;666(2):168-72.

Magnesium suppresses neuropathic pain responses in rats via a spinal site of action.

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Neurobiology and Anesthesiology Branch, National Institute of Dental Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-4410.


We tested the ability of Mg2+ therapy to block the heat-hyperalgesia, mechano-allodynia and mechano-hyperalgesia that are seen in rats with an experimental painful peripheral neuropathy (the CCI model of Bennett and Xie). Systemic Mg2+ (magnesium sulfate, 600 mg/kg, s.c.) significantly reduced heat-hyperalgesia and mechano-allodynia for 2-24 h post-injection, but had no effect on mechano-hyperalgesia. Intrathecal (i.t.) injections of Mg2+ (185-750 micrograms) at the level of the lumbar spinal cord significantly reduced heat-hyperalgesia, but perineural application (750 and 7,000 micrograms) to the site of nerve injury had no effect. Neither s.c. nor i.t. Mg2+ had any effect on the responses from the control, sham-operated side. We conclude that Mg2+ has a spinal site of action. Mg2+ therapy may be of limited use in the treatment of human painful peripheral neuropathy.

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