Local corticosteroid application blocks transmission in normal nociceptive C-fibres

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1990 Jul;34(5):335-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.1990.tb03097.x.


The effect of a locally applied depot form of a corticosteroid on the electrical properties of nerves was investigated in an experimental model. The segmental transmission in electrically stimulated A-fibres and in C-fibres of the plantar nerve in the anaesthetized rat was utilized. A drop of methylprednisolone acetate or vehicle constituent was placed on the dissected plantar nerve proximal to the stimulating electrodes after recording control responses (A-fibre volley in the sciatic nerve and C-fibre evoked reflex discharge in flexor motoneurons). The corticosteroid was found to suppress the transmission in thin unmyelinated C-fibres but not in myelinated A-beta fibres. The effect was found to be due to the corticosteroid per se. The effect was reversed when the corticosteroid was removed, which suggests a direct membrane action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Methylprednisolone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methylprednisolone / pharmacology
  • Methylprednisolone Acetate
  • Nerve Fibers / drug effects*
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / drug effects
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / physiology
  • Nociceptors / drug effects*
  • Nociceptors / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Methylprednisolone Acetate
  • Methylprednisolone