Transient attenuation of neuropathic manifestations in rats following lesion or reversible block of the lateral thalamic somatosensory nuclei

N. E. Saadé, Hassen Al Amin, S. Abdel Baki, B. Safieh-Garabedian, S. F. Atweh, S. J. Jabbur

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aims: Nociceptive behavior in animal models for mononeuropathy has been shown to be altered by spinal tract lesions which suggest a possible supraspinal modulation. The thalamus constitutes a chief center for the processing of nociception. We have, therefore, investigated the effects of transient or permanent blocks of the lateral somatosensory thalamic nuclei (the ventrobasal complex) on the neuropathic manifestations in rats. Methods: Different groups of rats (n = 5-6) were subjected to mononeuropathy, following the spared nerve injury model, known to produce sustained heat hyperalgesia and tactile and cold allodynia which peaked about 2 weeks after nerve injury. This was followed by stereotaxic placement of either electrolytic or chemical lesions or implantation of mini osmotic pump for slow release of lidocaine in the ventrobasal complex. Results: Chronic electrolytic and chemical lesions or reversible block of the lateral somatosensory thalamus produced transient (1-2 weeks) attenuation of neuropathic manifestations along with a persistent decrease of the hot plate latency. The most pronounced effect was observed on heat hyperalgesia, and the least significant and short-lived effect was observed on cold allodynia. Conclusion: We conclude that the lateral somatosensory thalamic complex is involved in the processing of neuropathic manifestations but cannot be considered as an obligatory or exclusive relay center for the neuropathic syndromes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Allodynia
  • Central pain
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Pain pathways
  • Thalamic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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