Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.22/6383
Título: Descending pain modulation in a Kaolin-induced hydrocephalus rat model
Autor: Louçano, Marta
Orientador: Tavares, Isaura
Prudêncio, Cristina
Data de Defesa: Set-2014
Resumo: Pain transmission at the spinal cord is modulated by descending actions that arise from supraspinal areas which collectively form the endogenous pain control system. Two key areas involved of the endogenous pain control system have a circunventricular location, namely the periaqueductal grey (PAG) and the locus coeruleus (LC). The PAG plays a crucial role in descending pain modulation as it conveys the input from higher brain centers to the spinal cord. As to the LC, it is involved in descending pain inhibition by direct noradrenergic projections to the spinal cord. In the context of neurological defects, several diseases may affect the structure and function of the brain. Hydrocephalus is a congenital or acquired disease characterized by an enlargement of the ventricles which leads to a distortion of the adjacent tissues, including the PAG and LC. Usually, patients suffering from hydrocephalus present dysfunctions in learning and memory and also motor deficits. It remains to be evaluated if lesions of the periventricular brain areas involved in pain control during hydrocephalus may affect descending pain control and, herein, affect pain responses. The studies included in the present thesis used an experimental model of hydrocephalus (the rat injected in the cisterna magna with kaolin) to study descending modulation of pain, focusing on the two circumventricular regions referred above (the PAG and the LC). In order to evaluate the effects of kaolin injection into the cisterna magna, we measured the degree of ventricular dilatation in sections encompassing the PAG by standard cytoarquitectonic stanings (thionin staining). For the LC, immunodetection of the noradrenaline-synthetizing enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) was performed, due to the noradrenergic nature of the LC neurons. In general, rats with kaolin-induced hydrocephalus presented a higher dilatation of the 4th ventricle, along with a tendency to a higher area of the PAG. Due to the validated role of detection the c-fos protooncogene as a marker of neuronal activation, we also studied neuronal activation in the several subnuclei which compose the PAG, namely the dorsomedial, dorsolateral, lateral and ventrolateral (VLPAG) parts. A decrease in the numbers of neurons immunoreactive for Fos protein (the product of activation of the c-fos protooncogene) was detected in rats injected with kaolin, whereas the remaining PAG subnuclei did not present changes in Fos-immunoreactive nuclei. Increases in the levels of TH in the LC, namely at the rostral parts of the nucleus, were detected in hydrocephalic animals. The following pain-related parameters were measured, namely 1) pain behavioural responses in a validated pain inflammatory test (the formalin test) and 2) the nociceptive activation of spinal cord neurons. A decrease in behavioral responses was detected in rats with kaolin-induced hydrocephalus was detected, namely in the second phase of the test (inflammatory phase). This is the phase of the formalin test in which the motor behaviour is less important, which is important since a semi-quantitative analysis of the motor performance of rats injected with kaolin indicates that these animals may present some motor impairments. Collectively, the results of the behavioral studies indicate that rats with kaolin-induced hydrocephalus exhibit hypoalgesia. A decrease in Fos expression was detected at the superficial dorsal layers of the spinal cord in rats with kaolin-induced hydrocephalus, further indicating that hydrocephalus decreases nociceptive responses. It remains to be ascertained if this is due to alterations in the PAG and LC in the rats with kaolin-induced hydrocephalus, which may affect descending pain modulation. It remains to be evaluated what are the mechanisms underlying the increased pain inhibition at the spinal dorsal horn in the hydrocephalus rats. Regarding the VLPAG, the decrease in neuronal activity may impair descending modulation. Since the LC has higher levels of TH in rats with kaolininduced hydrocephalus, which also appears to increase the noradrenergic innervation in the spinal dorsal horn, it is possible that an increase in the release of noradrenaline at the spinal cord accounts for pain inhibition. Our studies also determine the need to study in detail patients with hydrocephalus namely in what concerns their thresholds to pain and to perform imaging studies focused on the structure and function of pain control areas in the brain.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.22/6383
Designação: Mestrado em Bioquímica em Saúde
Aparece nas colecções:ESS - DM - Tecnologia Bioquímica em Saúde

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