Chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve in rats evokes c-Fos expression at spinal cord level. Using immunohistochemical methods we studied changes in c-Fos expression in the brain stem area, which is suggested as one of the major targets of projection neurons in the superficial dorsal horn laminae, i.e., the parabrachial area. During the first week following injury, the animals developed tactile allodynia. At this time we found an increase of c-Fos positive neurons in the parabrachial area, mainly in the pontine part where the group of c-Fos immunoreactive neurons was present in the dorsal part of lateral parabrachial subnuclei. The number of c-Fos positive neurons gradually decreased up to 14 days following CCI. The specific activation of brain stem neurons during onset of mechanical allodynia could underlie the changes in central nociceptive processing following peripheral nerve injury.
- c-Fos immunoreactivity
- Neuropathic pain
- Parabrachial nucleus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine