Intradermal injection of the capsaicin analogue, NE-21610 (Procter and Gamble), inactivates nociceptors but not low-threshold mechanoreceptors in monkey. The present study examined the effects of cutaneous NE-21610 on heat and mechanical sensation in normal human volunteers. In the first series of experiments, subjects received intradermal (i.d.) injections (30 μl) of the vehicle alone or with the drug (0.3, 3.0, 10 μg) into different sites on the volar forearm. Subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 protocols to examine drug-evoked pain (n = 8), or alterations in pain to heat (n = 8) or mechanical (n = 8) stimuli induced by the drug. An additional 7 subjects rated pain to mechanical and heat stimuli before and after subcutaneous (s.c.) injections (300 μl) of the vehicle or drug (100 μg). The peak pain occurred at the time of injection, was of short duration, and was similar for vehicle and drug injections. A mild, dose-related pain followed that lasted up to 2 h. Von Frey thresholds for detection, sharpness, and pain at the injection site (measured 24 h after injection) were not significantly altered by either i.d. or s.c. drug administration. However, pain to stepped heat stimuli was reduced in a dose-dependent fashion for both types of injection. At the highest drug doses, analgesia to heat stimuli was still present 1 week after injection. Recovery of heat sensitivity occurred several weeks after injection. This dissociated loss of heat but not mechanical pain sensibility may be due to: (1) a selective action of the drug on heat transducers in nociceptors responsive to both heat and mechanical stimuli, or (2) a selective action on that subset of nociceptors responsible for signaling heat-evoked pain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine