Brazilian Journal of Pain
https://brjp.org.br/article/doi/10.5935/2595-0118.20210003
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Original Article

The profile of dexamethasone combined with transcranial direct current stimulation in rats submitted to an arthritis model

O perfil da dexametasona combinada com estimulação transcraniana por corrente contínua em ratos submetidos a um modelo de artrite

Gabriela Laste; Bettega Costa Lopes; Liciane Fernandes Medeiros; Felipe Fregni; Wolnei Caumo; Iraci L S Torres

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To pursue safer and more effective treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, the effect of dexamethasone treatment (DEX, 0.25mg/kg) combined with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in the behavior and neurochemical parameters of arthritic rats was evaluated.

METHODS: Thirty-six Wistar rats were divided into four groups: control+DEX (CTRL+DEX), arthritis+DEX (RA+DEX), arthritis+DEX+sham-tDCS (RA+DEX+sham-tDCS) and arthritis+DEX+tDCS (RA+DEX+tDCS). The arthritic model (RA) was induced by complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) paw administration. Paw edema and mechanical allodynia were assessed by plethysmometer and von Frey apparatus, respectively. Fourteen days after the CFA injection, rats received the treatment for eight days (DEX and/or tDCS). Behavioral parameters were measured with the Open-Field test. ELISA was used to evaluate hippocampal and spinal cord tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) levels, cerebral cortex and brainstem BDNF levels.

RESULTS: In pre-treatment measurements, arthritic rats presented an increase in joint swelling and mechanical allodynia when compared to the control group, confirming chronic pain establishment. A slight antinociceptive effect of dexamethasone combined with tDCS in the pain model was observed. The pain model significantly induced an increase in the grooming behavior and a reduction in the spinal cord and hippocampal TNF-α levels; these effects were reverted in the sham- and active-tDCS-treated rats. However, no effects of DEX or tDCS were observed in the BDNF levels in the cerebral cortex and brainstem.

CONCLUSION: Despite the small effect observed, tDCS treatment cannot be discarded as a non-pharmacological adjuvant technique for inflammatory chronic pain treatment.

Keywords

Cerebral cortex, Hippocampus, Mechanical allodynia, Spinal cord

Resumo

JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: Para investigar métodos mais seguros e eficazes para o manejo da artrite reumatoide, avaliou-se o efeito do tratamento com dexametasona (DEX, 0,25mg/kg) combinado com estimulação transcraniana por corrente contínua (ETCC) sobre parâmetros comportamentais e bioquímicos de ratos submetidos a um modelo de artrite reumatoide.

MÉTODOS: Trinta e seis ratos Wistar foram alocados em 4 grupos: controle+DEX (CTRL+DEX), artrite+DEX (AR+DEX), artrite+DEX+sham-ETCC (AR+DEX+sham-ETCC) e artrite+DEX+ETCC (AR+DEX+ETCC). O modelo de artrite foi induzido pela administração de complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) na pata. Edema na pata e a alodínia mecânica foram avaliadas por pletismômetro e teste de von Frey, respectivamente. 14 dias após injeção de CFA, ratos foram tratados por 8 dias (DEX e/ou ETCC). Atividade locomotora foi avaliada pelo teste do campo aberto. TNF-alfa (hipocampo e medula espinal) e BDNF (córtex e tronco) foram mensurados por ELISA.

RESULTADOS: Nas medições pré-tratamento, ratos com artrite exibiram aumento de o inchaço articular e alodínia mecânica comparados ao grupo controle, confirmando o estabelecimento de modelo de dor crônica. Também se observou discreto efeito antinociceptivo da dexametasona combinada com ETCC no modelo de artrite. O modelo de dor induziu um aumento no comportamento de grooming e reduziu os níveis de TNF-alfa no hipocampo; estes efeitos foram revertidos nos grupos sham- e ETCC ativo. Entretanto, não foram observados efeitos da DEX ou ETCC nos níveis de BDNF no córtex cerebral ou no tronco encefálico.

CONCLUSÃO: Apesar dos discretos efeitos observados, não se pode descartar a ETCC como uma abordagem terapêutica não farmacológica para o manejo da dor crônica inflamatória na artrite reumatoide.

Palavras-chave

Alodínia, Córtex cerebral, Hipocampo, Medula espinal

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Submitted date:
09/17/2020

Accepted date:
12/16/2020

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