Reduced pain-related behavior by adrenal medullary transplants in rats with experimental painful peripheral neuropathy

Aldric T. Hama, Jacqueline Sagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Adrenal medullary transplants in the spinal subarachnoid space, by providing a continual source of opioid peptides and catecholamines, offer a potentially important adjunct in the management of chronic pain. While previous studies have shown that this approach is effective against high-intensity phasic stimuli, adrenal medullary implants need to be evaluated against long-term and abnormal pain syndromes before transplantation can be used for human chronic pain. Using a recently developed model of painful peripheral neuropathy, the effects of adrenal medullary chromaffin cells transplanted into the subarachnoid space was evaluated. Peripheral mononeuropathy was induced by loosely tying 4 ligatures (4-0 chromic gut) around the right sciatic nerve. This procedure produces various pain symptoms including allodynia, hyperalgesia and dysesthesia. Rats were given either adrenal medullary tissue or control striated muscle transplants. Animals with adrenal medullary tissue transplants showed markedly decreased allodynia to innocuous cold as early as 1 week post-transplantation. In addition, hyperalgesia to a noxious thermal stimulus was eliminated by adrenal medullary, but not control, transplants. Touch-evoked allodynia was only slightly reduced by adrenal medullary transplants. In addition, indicators of spontaneous pain appeared reduced in animals with adrenal medullary transplants. These findings indicate that adrenal medullary transplants may be effective in reducing neuropathic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-231
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Allodynia
  • Chromaffin cells
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Neural transplant
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Neuropathy, experimental

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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