© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Neuropathic pain (NP) is present in 40-to-50% of spinal cord injured patients. It tends to chronicity and correlates with lower quality-of-life. Moreover, the role of NP in the eventual exacerbation of anxiety- and depression-like behaviours during its development and chronification in genetically susceptible individuals remains unclear. Thus, although solely few animal models are available, new specific models are needed to complete the array of chances to assay new therapeutic strategies with the aim of treating chronic NT and its associated mood disorders. The present study was conceived to evaluate hyperalgesic responses and anxiety- and depression-like behaviours after graded photochemical spinal cord injury (SCI) up to chronic phase. BALB/c strain was used: it expresses a phenotype characterized by high innate anxiety levels, allowing to elucidate whether NP may exacerbate mood disorders at SCI chronic phase. After different photoinduction-times on exposed spinal cord, the mice developed a graded chronic hyperalgesia with minor to non-existent motor dysfunction. Behavioural data suggest that whilst hyperalgesia associated to SCI does not exacerbate BALB/c anxiety-like behaviours, it may result in depression-like behaviour at SCI chronic phase. Our study demonstrates that chronic central hyperalgesia may exacerbate despair-like behaviour at the SCI chronic phase in a mouse model of high anxiety-related behaviour. This implies that photochemical-SCI may be a suitable model to study the comorbidity between chronic NP and mood disorders.
- Behavioural disturbances
- Neuropathic pain
- Photochemical spinal cord injury