GABAA receptor blockade inhibits Aβ fibre evoked wind-up in the arthritic rat

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To clarify the mechanisms of allodynia we have examined whether ‘wind-up’ of nociceptive withdrawal reflexes (NWR), a phenomenon characteristic of nociceptive C fiber spinal processing, can be mimicked by stimulation of tactile Aβ fibers in monoarthritic decerebrate spinal rats. Knee joint monoarthritis was induced by carrageenan/kaolin under halothane anaesthesia 5 h before recordings. In arthritic, but not in control rats, wind-up of NWR of the semitendinosus muscle could be evoked by repeated stimulation of Aβ fibres. By contrast, peroneus longus reflexes did not exhibit marked wind-up. Bicuculline (0.03–0.3 mg/kg, i.v.) dose-dependently inhibited this wind-up. Hence, reflex wind-up can be elicited by tactile Aβ fibers in arthritic rats through a GABAA dependent mechanism.

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