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Excitatory amino acids play important roles in the development of secondary pathology following spinal cord injury (SCI). This study was designed to evaluate morphological changes in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and assess profiles of pain behaviors following intraspinal injection of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) or quisqualate (QUIS) in rats. Forty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into three groups : a sham, and two experimental groups receiving injections of 125 mM NMDA or QUIS into their spinal dorsal horn. Following injection, hypersensitivity to cold and mechanical stimuli, and excessive grooming behaviors were assessed serially for four weeks. At the end of survival periods, morphological changes in the spinal cord were evaluated. Cold allodynia was developed in both the NMDA and QUIS groups, which was significantly higher in the QUIS group than in the NMDA group. The mechanical threshold for the ipsilateral hind paw in both QUIS and NMDA groups was significantly lower than that in the control group. The number of groomers was significantly higher in the NMDA group than in the QUIS group. The size of the neck region of the spinal dorsal horn, but not the superficial layer, was significantly smaller in the NMDA and QUIS groups than in the control group. Intraspinal injection of NMDA or QUIS can be used as an excitotoxic model of SCI for further research on spinal neuropathic pain.


Seong-Soo Choi, Kyung-Don Hahm, Hong-Gi Min, Jeong-Gil Leem. Comparison of the spinal neuropathic pain induced by intraspinal injection of N-methyl-d-aspartate and quisquate in rats. Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society. 2011 Nov;50(5):420-5

PMID: 22259688

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