The effect of intra-articular vanilloid receptor agonists on pain behavior measures in a murine model of acute monoarthritis

Mishal Abdullah, Maren L. Mahowald, Sandra P. Frizelle, Christopher W. Dorman, Sonia C. Funkenbusch, Hollis E. Krug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the US, and the primary manifestation of arthritis is joint pain that leads to progressive physical limitation, disability, morbidity, and increased health care utilization. Capsaicin (CAP) is a vanilloid agonist that causes substance P depletion by interacting with vanilloid receptor transient receptor potential V1 on small unmyelinated C fibers. It has been used topically for analgesia in osteoarthritis with variable success. Resiniferatoxin (RTX) is an ultra potent CAP analog. The aim of this study was to measure the analgesic effects of intra-articular (IA) administration of CAP and RTX in experimental acute inflammatory arthritis in mice. Evoked pain score (EPS) and a dynamic weight bearing (DWB) device were used to measure nociceptive behaviors in a murine model of acute inflammatory monoarthritis. A total of 56 C57B16 male mice underwent EPS and DWB testing 24 nonarthritic controls and 32 mice with carrageenan-induced arthritis. The effects of pretreatment with 0.1% CAP, 0.0003% RTX, or 0.001% RTX were measured. Nociception was reproducibly demonstrated by increased EPS and reduced DWB measures in the affected limb of arthritic mice. Pretreatment with 0.001% RTX resulted in statistically significant improvement in EPS and DWB measures when compared with those observed in carrageenan-induced arthritis animals. Pretreatment with IA 0.0003% RTX and IA 0.01% CAP resulted in improvement in some but not all of these measures. The remaining 24 mice underwent evaluation following treatment with 0.1% CAP, 0.0003% RTX, or 0.001% RTX, and the results obtained were similar to that of naïve, nonarthritic mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-570
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pain Research
StatePublished - Aug 17 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Abdullah et al.


  • Capsaicin
  • Intra-articular
  • Pain
  • Resiniferatoxin
  • Vanilloid


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