Quantifying Blood-Spinal Cord Barrier Permeability after Peripheral Nerve Injury in the Living Mouse

Lindsay S Cahill, Christine L Laliberté, Xue Jun Liu, Jonathan Bishop, Brian J Nieman, Jeffrey S Mogil, Robert E Sorge, Catherine D Jones, Michael W Salter, R Mark Henkelman
2014 Molecular Pain  
Genetic polymorphisms, gender and age all influence the risk of developing chronic neuropathic pain following peripheral nerve injury (PNI). It is known that there are significant inter-strain differences in pain hypersensitivity in strains of mice after PNI. In response to PNI, one of the earliest events is thought to be the disruption of the bloodspinal cord barrier (BSCB). The study of BSCB integrity after PNI may lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms that contribute to chronic
more » ... n. Results: Here we used in vivo dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) to establish a timecourse for BSCB permeability following PNI, produced by performing a spared nerve injury (SNI). From this longitudinal study, we found that the SNI group had a significant increase in BSCB permeability over time throughout the entire spinal cord. The BSCB opening had a delayed onset and the increase in permeability was transient, returning to control levels just over one day after the surgery. We also examined inter-strain differences in BSCB permeability using five mouse strains (B10, C57BL/6J, CD-1, A/J and BALB/c) that spanned the range of pain hypersensitivity. We found a significant increase in BSCB permeability in the SNI group that was dependent on strain but that did not correlate with the reported strain differences in PNI-induced tactile hypersensitivity. These results were consistent with a previous experiment using Evans Blue dye to independently assess the status of the BSCB permeability. Conclusions: DCE-MRI provides a sensitive and non-invasive method to follow BSCB permeability in the same group of mice over time. Examining differences between mouse strains, we demonstrated that there is an important geneticallybased control of the PNI-induced increase in BSCB permeability and that the critical genetic determinants of BSCB opening after PNI are distinct from those that determine genetic variability in PNI-induced pain hypersensitivity.
doi:10.1186/1744-8069-10-60 pmid:25216623 pmcid:PMC4190293 fatcat:zwqlyozzh5gqtmaw4raqz25yym