Background: Understanding the mechanisms underlying deep tissue pain in the postoperative period is critical to improve therapies. Using the in vitro plantar flexor digitorum brevis muscle-nerve preparation and patch clamp recordings from cultured dorsal root ganglia neurons innervating incised and unincised muscle, the authors investigated responses to various pH changes. Methods: Incision including the plantar flexor digitorum brevis muscle or sham operation was made in the rat hind paw. On postoperative day 1, in vitro single-fiber recording was undertaken. On the basis of previous studies, the authors recorded from at least 40 fibers per group. Also DiI-labeled dorsal root ganglia innervating muscle from rats undergoing incision and a sham operation were cultured and tested for acid responses, using whole cell patch clamp recordings. Results: The prevalence of responsive group IV afferents to lactic acid pH 6.5 in the incision group (15 of 67; 22.3%) was greater than that in the control group (2 of 35; 5.7%; P = 0.022). In dorsal root ganglia neurons innervating muscle, incision increased mean current amplitudes of acid-evoked currents; the acid-sensing ion channel blocker, amiloride 300 ?m, inhibited more than 75% of the acid-evoked current, whereas, the transient receptor vanilloid receptor 1 blocker (AMG9810 1 ?M) did not cause significant inhibition. Conclusion: The authors' experiments demonstrated that incision increases the responses of flexor digitorum brevis muscle afferent fibers to weak acid solutions, and increased acid-evoked currents in dorsal root ganglia innervating muscle. The authors' data suggest that up-regulation of acidsensing ion channels might underlie this increased chemosensitivity caused by surgery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine