Yonsei Med J.  2006 Dec;47(6):847-851. 10.3349/ymj.2006.47.6.847.

Does the Tibial and Sural Nerve Transection Model Represent Sympathetically Independent Pain?

  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. ywleepain@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr


Neuropathic pain can be divided into sympathetically maintained pain (SMP) and sympathetically independent pain (SIP). Rats with tibial and sural nerve transection (TST) produce neuropathic pain behaviors, including spontaneous pain, tactile allodynia, and cold allodynia. The present study was undertaken to examine whether rats with TST would represent SMP- or SIP-dominant neuropathic pain by lumbar surgical sympathectomy. The TST model was generated by transecting the tibial and sural nerves, leaving the common peroneal nerve intact. Animals were divided into the sympathectomy group and the sham group. For the sympathectomy group, the sympathetic chain was removed bilaterally from L2 to L6 one week after nerve transection. The success of the sympathectomy was verified by measuring skin temperature on the hind paw and by infra red thermography. Tactile allodynia was assessed using von Frey filaments, and cold allodynia was assessed using acetone drops. A majority of the rats exhibited withdrawal behaviors in response to tactile and cold stimulations after nerve stimulation. Neither tactile allodynia nor cold allodynia improved after successful sympathectomy, and there were no differences in the threshold of tactile and cold allodynia between the sympathectomy and sham groups. Tactile allodynia and cold allodynia in the neuropathic pain model of TST are not dependent on the sympathetic nervous system, and this model can be used to investigate SIP syndromes.


Neuropathic pain; sympathetically independent pain; sympathetically maintained pain; sympathectomy; tibial nerve; sural nerve; transection
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