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Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is caused by injuries from fracture after trauma and orthopaedic surgical procedures in the hind limbs. The symptoms of CRPS include warmth, pain, allodynia, and hyperalgesia. It is known that 5-hydroxytryptamine 3 (5-HT3) receptors contribute to hyperalgesia, but their role has not yet been fully elucidated. This study investigated the mechanism of pain relief when a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist was administered in a CRPS animal model. To establish a CRPS animal model, 10-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats were used in the experiment. On the fourth week post tibial fracture surgery, we performed the von Frey test to measure mechanical allodynia. After performing behavioural tests, we collected blood and tissue samples after sacrificing the animals. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and western blot were also performed. The experimental tibia fracture model-induced CRPS animals elicited increased 5-HT3 receptor expression, and the 5-HT transporter was decreased in the brain stem after 4 weeks of surgical intervention. Additionally, in CRPS-induced animals, both the concentration of substance P and the level of interleukin 6 were increased peripherally and centrally. Treatment with the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, ramosetron, exerted an analgesic effect in the paw withdrawal test and was dependent on the attenuation of the 5-HT3 receptor population with inflammatory pain mediators. These data suggest that treatment with the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, ramosetron, in experimental CRPS animal models alleviated pain-related behaviours and may be a new therapeutic option or potential therapeutic agent for patients with CRPS.


J H Park, C-H Lee, H D Ham, E-S Choi, C Lee, S Lee. Analgesic effects of a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist in an animal model of complex regional pain syndrome. European review for medical and pharmacological sciences. 2021 Nov;25(22):7051-7057

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PMID: 34859869

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