Orthopedic surgery modulates neuropeptides and BDNF expression at the spinal and hippocampal levels.
Pain is a critical component hindering recovery and regaining of function after surgery, particularly in the elderly. Understanding the role of pain signaling after surgery may lead to novel interventions for common complications such as delirium and postoperative cognitive dysfunction. Using a model of tibial fracture with intramedullary pinning in male mice, associated with cognitive deficits, we characterized the effects on the primary somatosensory system. Here we show that tibial fracture with pinning triggers cold allodynia and up-regulates nerve injury and inflammatory markers in dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) and spinal cord up to 2 wk after intervention. At 72 h after surgery, there is an increase in activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3), the neuropeptides galanin and neuropeptide Y (NPY), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), as well as neuroinflammatory markers including ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba1), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and the fractalkine receptor CX3CR1 in DRGs. Using an established model of complete transection of the sciatic nerve for comparison, we observed similar but more pronounced changes in these markers. However, protein levels of BDNF remained elevated for a longer period after fracture. In the hippocampus, BDNF protein levels were increased, yet there were no changes in Bdnf mRNA in the parent granule cell bodies. Further, c-Fos was down-regulated in the hippocampus, together with a reduction in neurogenesis in the subgranular zone. Taken together, our results suggest that attenuated BDNF release and signaling in the dentate gyrus may account for cognitive and mental deficits sometimes observed after surgery.
Zhang, M-D; Barde, S; Yang, T; Lei, B; Eriksson, LI; Mathew, JP; Andreska, T; Akassoglou, K; Harkany, T; Hökfelt, TGM; Terrando, N
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