American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

An Induced Hematoma in Caudoputamen Nuclei in Rats Causes Central Pain when the Thalamus is also Implicated and the Central Sensitization is Reversed with Gabapentin

P. P. Lema and P. Vachon

DOI : 10.3844/ajavsp.2012.28.35

American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Volume 7, Issue 1

Pages 28-35


Problem statement: The objective of this study was to evaluate pain sensitisation in rats following the induction of an intracerebral hemorrhage by injecting a collagenase solution in the caudoputamen nucleus of the right basal ganglia and to evaluate gabapentin as an analgesic for central pain. Approach: Thirty male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing between 175-300 g were used. In a first experiment, 3 groups of 6 animals were used to evaluate pain threshold using the Hargreaves test (thermal sensitivity) only. Following 3 days of behavioral testing (baseline values), animals in each group were injected intracerebrally either with 0.5, 1 or 2 μL of a collagenase solution (0.5 U 2 μL-1 Type VII collagenase) inducing a hematoma in the right caudoputamen nucleus and/or thalamus. They were then tested for the next 9 consecutive days. In a second experiment, gabapentin was evaluated for the reversal of thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia (using von Frey filaments) following the intracerebral injection of 3 μL of the collagenase solution. Results: No pain-related behavioral changes were observed following injections with 0.5 and 1 μL of the collagenase solution. However with 2 μL, reaction times were significantly faster on days 3-7 in the right and left hind paws compared to baseline values. The lesion was localized only in the caudoputamen nucleus for animals receiving 0.5 and 1 μL of collagenase whereas lesions extended in the ipsilateral thalamic nuclei (lateral-dorsal and lateral-posterior nuclei) for animals receiving 2 μL of collagenase. Gabapentin reversed mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia in animals with caudoputamen and thalamic lesions. Conclusion: These preliminary results suggest that central pain was induced in rats with a collagenase-induced intracerebral hemorrhage localized in the thalamus and that mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia were reduced with gabapentin treatment.


© 2012 P. P. Lema and P. Vachon. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.