Is sympathetic sprouting in the dorsal root ganglia responsible for the production of neuropathic pain in a rat model?

Hee Jin Kim, Heung Sik Na, Backil Sung, Hyun Jung Nam, Yun Jae Chung, Seung Kil Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Partial peripheral nerve injury often results in neuropathic pain that is aggravated by sympathetic excitation and induces sympathetic nerve sprouting in both the injured nerve and corresponding dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). Presently, the functional mechanisms of the interactions between the sprouting and injured somatic afferents remain uncertain. This study was performed to see whether the sprouting in the DRGs plays a key role in the development of neuropathic pain. To this aim, we compared two groups of rats, both of which were subjected to unilateral transection of the superior and inferior caudal trunks at the level between the S1 and S2 spinal nerves, with respect to sympathetic fiber sprouting; one group showed well-developed neuropathic pain behaviors (i.e. mechanical, cold and warm allodynia signs) and the other group showed poorly-developed ones. Immuno-histochemical staining with tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) antibody of the injured S1 DRG taken from both groups of rats after behavioral tests revealed that the magnitude of penetration of TH-positive fibers into the S1 DRG was not significantly different between the two groups. These results suggest that sympathetic nerve sprouting in the injured DRG is not a key factor in the development of neuropathic pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-106
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jul 9

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology under the Brain Science Research Program.


  • Allodynia
  • Dorsal root ganglion
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Peripheral nerve injury
  • Sympathetically maintained pain
  • Tyrosine hydroxylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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