Investigation of the Effect of Diabetes on Radiculopathy Induced by Nucleus Pulposus Application to the DRG in a Spontaneously Diabetic Rat Model

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Study Design.A controlled, interventional animal study.Objective.The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of diabetes mellitus (DM) on radiculopathy due to lumbar disc herniation (LDH), by investigating pain-related behavior and the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43) in type 2 diabetic rats following application of nucleus pulposus (NP) to the dorsal root ganglion (DRG).Summary of Background Data.Previous clinical studies suggested negative effects of DM on radiculopathy due to LDH, and that inflammation and nerve regeneration could interact with DM and radiculopathy.Methods.We applied autologous NP to the left L5 DRG of adult male Wistar rats and Goto-Kakizaki rats. Behavioral testing measured the mechanical withdrawal threshold of rats. We immunohistochemically evaluated the localization of ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule-1 (Iba-1), receptor of advanced glycation end products (RAGE), and TNF-α in DRGs. TNF-α and GAP43 expression levels in DRG were determined by quantitative real-time PCR and western blotting.Results.The mechanical withdrawal threshold significantly declined in the non-DM NP group compared with the non-DM sham group for 28 days, whereas the decline in threshold extended to 35 days in the DM NP group compared with the DM sham group. RAGE and TNF-α expression in DRGs was colocalized in Iba-1 positive cells. The non-DM NP rats had higher TNF-α protein expression levels versus the non-DM sham rats on day 7, and the DM NP group had higher levels versus the DM sham group on days 7 and 14. The non-DM NP group had higher GAP43 mRNA expression than the non-DM sham group for 28 days, while the DM NP group had a higher level than the DM sham group for 35 days.Conclusion.DM prolongs the pain-related behavior caused by NP. The prolonged inflammation and nerve regeneration could elucidate the pathogenesis of continuous pain of radiculopathy initiated by LDH.Level of Evidence: N /A

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