J Korean Med Sci.  2002 Apr;17(2):225-229. 10.3346/jkms.2002.17.2.225.

The Effect of Intrathecal Gabapentin on Mechanical and Thermal Hyperalgesia in Neuropathic Rats Induced by Spinal Nerve Ligation

  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Neurosurgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Gabapentin decreases the level of glutamate and elevates that of garmma-amino-butyric acid in the central nervous system. Gabapentin was shown to have antinociceptive effects in several facilitated pain models. Intrathecal gabapentin was also known to be effective in reducing mechanical allodynia in animals with neuropathic pain. In this study, we investigated to see whether intrathecal gabapentin produces antihyperalgesic effects on thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia in neuropathic rats and whether its effects are associated with motor impairment. To induce neuropathic pain in Sprague-Dawley rats, left L5 and L6 spinal nerves were ligated. After a week, lumbar catheterization into subarachnoid space was performed. Then, paw withdrawal times to thermal stimuli and vocalization thresholds to paw pressure were determined before and up to 2 hr after intrathecal injection of gabapentin. Also, motor functions including performance times on rota-rod were determined. Intrathecal gabapentin attenuated significantly thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia in neuropathic rats, but did not block thermal and mechanical nociception in sham-operated rats. Intrathecal gabapentin of antihyperalgesic doses inhibited motor coordination performance without evident ambulatory dysfunction. This study demonstrates that intrathecal gabapentin is effective against thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia, in spite of moderate impairment of motor coordination.


Gabapentin; Injections, Spinal; Hyperalgesia
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