The Effects of Pretreatment with Lidocaine or Bupivacaine on the Spatial and Temporal Expression of c-Fos Protein in the Spinal Cord Caused by Plantar Incision in the Rat

Xiaohui Sun, Masataka Yokoyama, Satoshi Mizobuchi, Ryuji Kaku, Hideki Nakatsuka, Toru Takahashi, Kiyoshi Morita

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We investigated the spatial and temporal patterns of c-Fos protein (Fos) expression in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord caused by plantar incision in the rat and the effects of pretreatment with local anesthetics. Bupivacaine (0.5%), lidocaine (2%), or saline for control was injected for nerve block and local infiltration before the plantar incision was made under anesthesia. Pain behavior and Fos expression in the L4-L5 segments of the spinal cord were assessed at 1, 3, 6, 24, 48, 72, and 120 h after the incision. The withdrawal threshold to mechanical stimulation decreased significantly at 1 h until 120 h (1-72 h, P < 0.01;120 h, P < 0.05), and pretreatment with local anesthetics increased the threshold significantly at 1 h (both groups: P < 0.01), 3 h (both groups: P < 0.01), and 6 h (bupivacaine, P < 0.01; lidocaine, P < 0.05) in comparison with that in the saline group. In the saline group, Fos expression was detected predominantly in laminae I-II and V-VI, and the total Fos expression was maximal at 1 h and then decreased gradually. Pretreatment with local anesthetics suppressed Fos expression significantly in all layers, and this suppression continued for several days. This study provides evidence of spatial and temporal changes in Fos expression induced by plantar incision. Our results indicate that although pretreatment with local anesthetics suppresses Fos expression for several days in the postoperative period, the analgesic effect is observed only for the expected duration of the local anesthetic used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1098
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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