Increased delayed type hypersensitivity in rats subjected to unilateral mononeuropathy is mediated by neurokinin-1 receptors

Uri Herzberg, David R. Brown, Mary A. Mullett, Alvin J. Beitz

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8 Scopus citations


An animal model of peripheral mononeuropathy was utilized in the present study to investigate the potential role of substance P (SP) in modifying immune responses associated with chronic pain conditions. Animals subjected to unilateral sciatic ligation and sham-operated animals were sensitized with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) and subsequently challenged in the ipsilateral or contralateral hind paw to produce a delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response. Subcutaneous microdialysis and radioimmunoassay were used to measure interstitial fluid SP levels in the challenged tissue prior to and following immune challenge in control and neuropathic animals. Following immune challenge, there was a significant increase in the concentration of SP in tissue dialysate samples from the challenged paw of both sham-operated and neuropathic animals. However, tissue SP levels in neuropathic animals were more than two-fold higher than those obtained from sham-operated controls following challenge. SP concentration remained elevated for 2.5 h following immune challenge in neuropathic animals compared to 90 min in sham-operated animals. Compared with controls, neuropathic animals also exhibited an increased DTH response that was reversed, in a dose-related fashion, by the non-peptide NK-1 receptor blocker L-703,606. The same antagonist had no effect in sham-operated animals. These data suggest that the increased DTH response in animals subjected to unilateral mononeuropathy involves SP and NK-1 receptors present in the challenged tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1996


  • Immunity
  • Microdialysis
  • NK-1 receptor
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Substance P


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