Spinal nerve ligation
Mechanical allodynia von Frey test
CHRONIC CONSTRICTION INJURY
SPINAL NERVE LIGATION
PLACE ESCAPE/AVOIDANCE BEHAVIOR
OLFACTORY BULBECTOMIZED RAT
Chronic pain and depression share a complex, reciprocal relationship. Furthermore, in addition to treating depression, antidepressants such as amitriptyline are a first-line treatment for chronic pain conditions, indicating possible common neural substrates underlying both depression and pain. However, there is a paucity of studies examining the effect of antidepressant treatment on nociceptive and neuropathic pain responding in the presence of a depressive phenotype. The current study aimed to examine the effect of chronic amitriptyline administration on neuropathic pain-related behaviour and associated neuroinflammatory processes in the olfactory bulbectomised (OB) rat model of depression. Nociceptive responding to mechanical, innocuous cold or noxious heat stimuli in sham or OB rats was not altered by chronic amitriptyline administration. The induction of neuropathic pain following L5-L6 spinal nerve ligation (SNL) resulted in robust mechanical and cold allodynia and heat hyperalgesia in both sham and OB vehicle-treated animals. Chronic amitriptyline administration attenuated SNL-induced mechanical allodynia in both sham and OB rats at day 7 post-SNL, an effect which was enhanced and prolonged in OB rats. In comparison, chronic amitriptyline administration attenuated SNL-induced cold allodynia and heat hyperalgesia in sham, but not OB, rats. Evaluating the affective/motivational aspect of pain using the place escape avoidance paradigm revealed that OB-SNL rats exhibit reduced noxious avoidance behaviour when compared with sham counterparts, an effect not altered by chronic amitriptyline administration. Chronic amitriptyline administration prevented the increased expression of GFAP, IL-10 and CCL5, and enhanced the expression of TNF alpha, in the prefrontal cortex of OB-SNL rats. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that chronic amitriptyline differentially alters somatic nociceptive responding following peripheral nerve-injury, depending on stimulus modality and the presence or absence of a depressive-like phenotype, an effect which may involve modulation of neuroinflammatory processes. (C) 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V.