Neuropathic pain is enhanced in delta-opioid receptor knockout mice

Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Feb;23(3):830-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2006.04569.x.


We have evaluated the possible involvement of delta-opioid receptor (DOR) in the development and expression of neuropathic pain. For this purpose, partial ligation of the sciatic nerve was performed in DOR knockout mice and wild-type littermates. The development of mechanical and thermal allodynia, as well as thermal hyperalgesia was evaluated by using the von Frey filament model, the cold-plate test and the plantar test, respectively. In wild-type and DOR knockout mice, sciatic nerve injury led to a neuropathic pain syndrome revealed in these nociceptive behavioural tests. However, the development of mechanical and thermal allodynia, and thermal hyperalgesia was significantly enhanced in DOR knockout mice. These results reveal the involvement of DOR in the control of neuropathic pain and suggest a new potential therapeutic use of DOR agonists.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Functional Laterality
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain / genetics
  • Pain / metabolism*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Receptors, Opioid, delta / deficiency*
  • Sciatic Neuropathy / complications*
  • Sciatic Neuropathy / genetics
  • Sciatic Neuropathy / metabolism*
  • Time Factors


  • Receptors, Opioid, delta