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Concept: Intrathecal


TRPA1 is a unique sensor of noxious stimuli and, hence, a potential drug target for analgesics. Here we show that the antinociceptive effects of spinal and systemic administration of acetaminophen (paracetamol) are lost in Trpa1(-/-) mice. The electrophilic metabolites N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine and p-benzoquinone, but not acetaminophen itself, activate mouse and human TRPA1. These metabolites also activate native TRPA1 and, as a consequence, reduce voltage-gated calcium and sodium currents in primary sensory neurons. The N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine metabolite L-cysteinyl-S-acetaminophen was detected in the mouse spinal cord after systemic acetaminophen administration. In the hot-plate test, intrathecal administration of N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine, p-benzoquinone and the electrophilic TRPA1 activator cinnamaldehyde produced antinociception that was lost in Trpa1(-/-) mice. Intrathecal injection of a non-electrophilic cannabinoid, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabiorcol, also produced TRPA1-dependent antinociception in this test. Our study provides a molecular mechanism for the antinociceptive effect of acetaminophen and discloses spinal TRPA1 activation as a potential pharmacological strategy to alleviate pain.

Concepts: Neuron, Pain, Sensory system, Paracetamol, Rat, Rodent, Mouse, Intrathecal


BACKGROUND:: Intrathecal baclofen (ITB) is an effective therapy for spasticity and dystonia in pediatric populations; however, there are associated infectious complications. METHODS:: Patients who had an initial ITB device implanted at our center were followed to determine the proportion of patients with infectious and non-infectious complications, identify risk factors for infection and describe the clinical presentations, treatment and outcomes of infectious complications. RESULTS:: Over the 15 year study period, 139 patients had an initial ITB device placed. The mean age at placement was 13.6 years (range- 6 months to 41 years). In the first year of follow-up, 83% had no complications or secondary procedures, 17% had at least one secondary procedure and 5% had an infectious complication. The median time until infection was 14 days (mean 33 ± 42 days). Patients with secondary spasticity or dystonia were more likely to have infections than patients with cerebral palsy (86% vs.14%; p<0.0001). In the 94 patients with a first secondary procedure, 29% had at least one other procedure and 8% had an infection in the one year follow-up. Overall, 24 patients had 27 infections; 22% superficial, 33% deep and 45% organ space. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated in 50% of those with cultures obtained. Explantation was required in 59% of patients with an infection and differed by infection type: superficial (17%), deep (44%) and organ space (92%) (p=0.004). CONCLUSIONS:: Infectious complications were relatively uncommon; however, when present, frequently led to the explantation of the ITB pump device.

Concepts: Staphylococcus aureus, Infection, Median, Transmission and infection of H5N1, Intrathecal, Spastic diplegia, Intrathecal pump, Baclofen


Dexmedetomidine, a selective alpha 2-adrenoceptor (α2AR) agonist, has provided significant analgesia in neuropathic pain. However, its underlying molecular mechanism has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we found that intrathecal administration of dexmedetomidine alleviated mechanical allodynia induced by chronic constriction injury (CCI), and pretreatment with BRL44408 significantly reversed the dexmedetomidine-induced anti-nociceptive effect. Western blotting revealed that dexmedetomidine reduced the activation of microglia and the upregulation of interleukin-18 (IL-18) protein expression in the ipsilateral lumbar spinal dorsal horn, while BRL44408 pretreatment significantly blocked these effects of dexmedetomidine. Immunocytochemistry/immunohistochemistry indicated that the α2A-adrenoceptor was localised to microglia in primary culture, and IL-18 predominantly colocalised with the microglial marker Iba-1 in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. These results suggest that the IL-18 signalling pathway in microglia may be involved in the anti-nociceptive effect of dexmedetomidine in rats subjected to CCI.

Concepts: Present, Molecular biology, Signal transduction, Effect, Pain, Agonist, Intrathecal, Functional selectivity


BACKGROUND:The epidural test dose, used to identify unintended intrathecal placement, should reliably produce a spinal block without posing a threat to the patient. Most anesthesiologists administer a dose of local anesthetic, commonly lidocaine 45 mg. Pregnant patients are more sensitive to local anesthetics; high and total spinal anesthesia have been reported in the pregnant population with this dose. We hypothesized that lidocaine 30 mg was as effective as lidocaine 45 mg in creating rapid objective evidence of a sensory or motor block.METHODS:In this prospective, randomized, double-blind trial, patients scheduled for cesarean delivery were assigned to 1 of 4 groups: lidocaine 30 mg in the spinal or epidural space, or lidocaine 45 mg by the same routes. A blinded observer assessed the degree of sensory and motor block. The ability to identify intrathecal injection of each dose was compared. Sensory block above T6 dermatome and hypotension were recorded as side effects.RESULTS:Intrathecal administration of lidocaine 30 mg produced rapid subjective and objective signs of neuroblockade within 3 minutes (100%, 95% confidence interval CI, 85%-100% for each). Lidocaine 45 mg produced similar results. All patients in both groups described their legs as warm or heavy after 3 minutes and had a motor block by 5 minutes. On the basis of an intrathecal catheter rate of 1:380, the observed negative predictive value for intrathecal placement if the patient described no sensory changes at 3 minutes was 100% (95% CI, 99.95%-100%) for 30 mg and 100% (95% CI, 99.93%-100%) for 45 mg. We did not identify a decrease in the rate of side effects with the lower dose.CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that there is unlikely to be a large difference in the ability of these doses to detect unintentional intrathecal catheter placement. While the negative predictive value for intrathecal injection is very high for both doses, the 95% CI for the sensitivity of either dose is too wide to demonstrate clinical safety to identify all intrathecal catheters. A much larger study is warranted to assess whether there is a lower sensitivity with the 30-mg dose, or a propensity toward high cephalad motor block levels with the 45-mg dose.

Concepts: Childbirth, Randomized controlled trial, Anesthesia, Epidural, Catheter, Intrathecal, Local anesthetic, Spinal anaesthesia


BACKGROUND: Shivering during regional anesthesia is a common complication and is related to a decrease in the patient’s core body temperature. Previous studies have shown that acupuncture on specific acupoints can preserve core body temperature. The present study evaluated the effect of electroacupuncture in preventing the shivering caused by regional anesthesia. METHODS: This prospective and randomized controlled study analyzed the data from 80 patients undergoing urological surgery, who were classified as ASA I or II. Spinal anesthesia was performed in all patients using 15 mg of bupivacaine. The patients were randomly allocated to receive either placebo acupuncture (Group P, n = 40) or electroacupuncture (Group A, n = 40) for 30 min before administration of spinal anesthesia. Shivering score was recorded at 5 min intervals, with 0 representing no shivering and 4 representing the most severe shivering possible. Heart rate, blood pressure, and tympanic temperature were recorded before the intrathecal injection, and again every 5 min thereafter until 30 min. RESULTS: After spinal anesthesia, the decrease in tympanic temperature was less for Group A patients than Group P, with the difference being statistically significant. After 15 min, 13 patients in Group P attained a shivering score of 3 or more, compared with 3 patients in Group A. Significantly more patients in Group P attained a shivering score of at least 1. CONCLUSIONS: The prophylactic use of electroacupuncture might maintain core body temperature, and may effectively prevent the shivering that commonly develops during regional anesthesia.Trial registrationAustralian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612000096853.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Statistical significance, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Acupuncture, Intrathecal, Spinal anaesthesia


Abstract Liposomes are widely used as delivery systems of cytotoxic drugs. The encapsulation into liposomes improves pharmacological properties and as a result therapeutic index and outcomes. To date, liposomal vincristine and cytarabine are approved and marketed for intravenous and intrathecal administration, respectively. The main goal of this review is to examine the clinical use and pharmacological properties, as well as the safety of liposomal forms of less widely used liposomal forms of anticancer agents compared to their conventional forms and to present data regarding clinical development of other liposomal agents. Liposomal forms of cytarabine and vincristine are less widely used and unknown compared to liposomal anthracyclines, because they are approved only for specific indications and only in the United States.

Concepts: Pharmacology, United States, Chemotherapy, Leukemia, Drug development, Vincristine, Doxorubicin, Intrathecal


High or total spinal anesthesia commonly results from accidental placement of an epidural catheter in the intrathecal space with subsequent injection of excessive volumes of local anesthetic. Cerebrospinal lavage has been shown to be effective at reversing the effects of high/total spinal anesthesia but is rarely considered in obstetric cases. Here, we describe the use of cerebrospinal lavage to prevent potential complications from high/total spinal anesthesia after unintentional placement of an intrathecal catheter in a labouring obstetric patient.

Concepts: Anesthesia, Local anesthesia, Epidural, Caesarean section, Intrathecal, Local anesthetic, Anesthetic, Spinal anaesthesia


Intrathecal administration of the neurotoxin, bombesin-saporin, reduces or abolishes pruritogen-evoked scratching behavior. We presently investigated if spinal neurons that respond to intradermal injection of pruritogens also respond to spinal superfusion of bombesin, and vice versa. Single-unit recordings were made from superficial lumbar spinal dorsal horn neurons in anesthetized mice. We identified neurons using three search strategies: (a) intradermal (id) injection of the non-histaminergic itch mediator, chloroquine, (b) spinal superfusion of bombesin, and © noxious pinch. All units were tested with an array of itch mediators (chloroquine, histamine, SLIGRL, BAM8-22), algogens (capsaicin, allyl isothiocyanate= AITC) and physical stimuli (brush, pinch, noxious heat, cooling) applied to the hindlimb receptive field. The vast majority of chloroquine-responsive units also responded to bombesin. Of 26 chloroquine-sensitive units tested, most responded to SLIGRL, half responded to histamine and/or BAM8-22, and most responded to capsaicin and/or AITC as well as noxious thermal and mechanical stimuli. Of 29 bombesin-responsive units, a large majority also responded to other itch mediators as well as AITC, capsaicin and noxious thermal and mechanical stimuli. Responses to successive applications of bombesin exhibited tachyphylaxis. In contrast, of 36 units responsive to noxious pinch, the majority (67%) did not respond to id chloroquine or spinal bombesin. It is suggested that chloroquine- and bombesin sensitive spinal neurons signal itch from the skin.

Concepts: Skin, Chloroquine, Receptive field, Mediation, Intrathecal, Injection


The brainstem is well recognized as a critical site for integrating descending modulatory systems that both inhibit and facilitate pain at the level of the spinal cord. The cerebrospinal fluid-contacting nucleus (CSF-contacting nucleus) distributes and localizes in the ventral periaqueductal central gray of the brainstem. Although emerging lines of evidence suggest that the CSF-contacting nucleus may be closely linked to transduction and regulation of pain signals, the definitive role of the CSF-contacting nucleus in pain modulation remains poorly understood. In the present study, we determined the role of the CSF-contacting nucleus in rat nocifensive behaviors after persistent pain by targeted ablation of the CSF-contacting nucleus in the brainstem using the cholera toxin subunit B-saporin (CB-SAP), a cytotoxin coupled to cholera toxin subunit B. Compared with CB/SAP, CB-SAP induced complete ablation of the CSF-contacting nucleus, and the CB-SAP-treated rats showed hypersensitivity in responses to acute nociceptive stimulation, and exacerbated spontaneous nocifensive responses induced by formalin, thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia induced by plantar incision. Furthermore, immunohistochemical experiments showed that the CSF-contacting nucleus was a cluster of 5-HT-containing neurons in the brainstem, and the spinal projection of serotonergic axons originating from the CSF-contacting nucleus constituted the descending 5-HT pathway to the spinal cord. CB-SAP induced significant downregulation of 5-HT in the spinal dorsal horn, and intrathecal injection of 5-HT significantly reversed hypersensitivity in responses to acute nociceptive stimulation in the CB-SAP-treated rats. These results indicate that the CSF-contacting nucleus 5-HT pathway is an important component of the endogenous descending inhibitory system in the control of spinal nociceptive transmission.

Concepts: Neuron, Pain, Nociceptor, Cholera, Pain management, Intrathecal, Periaqueductal gray, Cholera toxin


Activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) is suggested to be critically involved in the development of chronic pain, but the complex regulation of STAT3-dependent pathway and the functional significance of inhibiting this pathway during the development of neuropathic pain remain elusive. To evaluate the contribution of the JAK2/STAT3 pathway to neuropathic pain and the potentiality of this pathway as a novel therapeutic target, we examined the effects of the STAT3 inhibitor WP1066 by intrathecal administration in a rat model of bilateral chronic constriction injury (bCCI). The pain behavior tests were performed before the surgery and on postoperative day 3, 7, 14 and 21. L4~L6 dorsal spinal cord were harvested at each time point. Both RT-PCR and Western blot were performed to evaluate the activation of JAK2/STAT3 pathway. To observe the influence of WP1066 on neuropathic pain and its molecular mechanism, WP1066 (10μl, 10mmol/L in DMSO) or the same capacity of DMSO as the control were applied through the intrathecal tube on the day before bCCI surgery, and on the postoperative day 3 and 5. Behavioral tests were performed to observe the therapeutic effect on mechanical, thermal and cold hyperalgesia. L4~L6 dorsal spinal cord was harvested on postoperative day fourteen, followed by RT-PCR and Western blot evaluation of the JAK2/STAT3 pathway activation. The mechanical, thermal and cold hyperalgesia of the bCCI rats were significantly decreased when compared with the Sham or the Naïve group at each postoperative time point (P<0.05). JAK2 mRNA and STAT3 mRNA were significantly increased in the bCCI rats, accompanied by SOCS3 mRNA with a similar tendency. Western blot analysis showed that JAK2 and phosphorylated STAT3 increased significantly since 3 days after bCCI. JAK2 peaked on postoperative day 14 while phosphorylated STAT3 peaked on postoperative day 7 and gradually decreased thereafter and SOCS3's peak level on postoperative day 3. When WP1066 were administered intrathecally, the pain behaviors of the bCCI rats were significantly improved (P<0.05). WP1066 also inhibited the mRNA level of JAK2, STAT3 and SOCS3 in bCCI rats significantly, together with the protein level of JAK2, phosphorylated STAT3 and SOCS3 on postoperative day 14 as well. Our results found that the JAK2/STAT3 pathway in the spinal cord dorsal horn was significantly activated in the bCCI neuropathic pain rats. WP1066, which inhibited the STAT3 pathway specifically, could partially alleviate the pain behavior of the bCCI rats. so it may serve as a novel therapeutic strategy against neuropathic pain.

Concepts: Gene expression, Molecular biology, Signal transduction, Western blot, Pain, Behavior, Pain management, Intrathecal