Nociception alterations are frequent non-motor symptoms of the prodromal phase of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The period for the onset of symptoms and the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these alterations remain unclear. We investigated the course of nociception alterations in a progressive model of parkinsonism induced by reserpine (RES) in rats. Male Wistar rats (6-7 months) received 5 or 10 subcutaneous injections of RES (0.1 mg/kg) or vehicle daily for 20 days. Motor evaluation and nociceptive assessment were performed throughout the treatment. At the end of the treatment rats were euthanized, the brains removed and processed for immunohistochemical analysis (TH and c-Fos). The RES-treated rats exhibited an increased nociceptive response to mechanical and chemical stimulation in the electronic von Frey and formalin tests, respectively. Moreover, these alterations preceded the motor impairment observed in the catalepsy test. In addition, the RES treatment reduced the TH-immunoreactivity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and increased the c-Fos expression in the ventral-lateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG), rostral ventral medulla (RVM) and dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) after noxious stimuli induced by formalin. Taken together, our results reinforce that nociceptive changes are one of the early signs of PD and monoamine depletion in basal ganglia can be involved in the abnormal processing of nociceptive information in PD.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.