Attenuation of pain-related hyperventilation in adjuvant arthritic rats with adrenal medullary transplants in the spinal subarachnoid space

Hong Wang, Jacqueline Sagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


The adjuvant arthritic rat model has been utilized for the study of chronic pain, as polyarthritic rats present a variety of symptoms similar to those seen in human chronic pain conditions. In particular, hyperventilatory responses are notable in both and may more accurately reflect basal ongoing pain than do evoked noxious stimuli. To assess whether adrenal medullary transplants in the spinal subarachnoid space can alleviate basal arthritic pain, respiratory parameters were determined using whole body plesthmography in polyarthritic rats. Arthritis was induced by inoculation with an intradermal injection of complete Freund's adjuvant. Steady-state ventilation was monitored at weekly intervals in arthritic animals with adrenal medullary or control striated muscle transplants. Results revealed that adjuvant arthritis produced significant hyperventilation in animals with control transplants, as indicated by increased tidal volumes and minute ventilation, which paralleled the progression of the inflammatory process. In contrast, this hyperventilation was eliminated by adrenal medullary transplants. A role for catcholamines and opioid peptides released from the transplants was suggested by the reversal of these effects with phentolamine and naloxone. In addition, the retardation in weight gain normally observed in polyarthritic animals was markedly attenuated by adrenal medullary, but not control transplants. These findings indicate that adrenal medullary transplants in the spinal subarachnoid space can alleviate basal chronic pain as assessed in adjuvant arthritis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-320
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes



  • Arthritis
  • Chromaffin cell
  • Neural graft
  • Nociception
  • Spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology

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