International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol.16, No.11, 27156-27170, 2015
Long-Term Anti-Allodynic Effect of Immediate Pulsed Radiofrequency Modulation through Down-Regulation of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 2 in a Neuropathic Pain Model
Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) is effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain in clinical practice. Its application to sites proximal to nerve injury can inhibit the activity of extra-cellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) for up to 28 days. The spared nerve injury (SNI)+ immPRF group (immediate exposure to PRF for 6 min after SNI) exhibited a greater anti-allodynic effect compared with the control group (SNI alone) or the SNI + postPRF group (application of PRF for 6 min on the 14th day after SNI). Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) was selected using microarray assays and according to web-based gene ontology annotations in the SNI + immPRF group. An increase in IGF2 and activation of ERK1/2 were attenuated by the immPRF treatment compared with an SNI control group. Using immunofluorescent staining, we detected co-localized phosphorylated ERK1/2 and IGF2 in the dorsal horn regions of rats from the SNI group, where the IGF2 protein predominantly arose in CD11b- or NeuN-positive cells, whereas IGF2 immunoreactivity was not detected in the SNI + immPRF group. Taken together, these results suggest that PRF treatment immediately after nerve injury significantly inhibited the development of neuropathic pain with a lasting effect, most likely through IGF2 down-regulation and the inhibition of ERK1/2 activity primarily in microglial cells.