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Data from: Distinct BOLD fMRI responses of capsaicin-induced thermal sensation reveal pain-related brain activation in nonhuman primates

Citation

Asad, Abu Bakar Ali et al. (2017), Data from: Distinct BOLD fMRI responses of capsaicin-induced thermal sensation reveal pain-related brain activation in nonhuman primates, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2gp4g

Abstract

Background: Approximately 20% of the adult population suffer from chronic pain that is not adequately treated by current therapies, highlighting a great need for improved treatment options. To develop effective analgesics, experimental human and animal models of pain are critical. Topically/intra-dermally applied capsaicin induces hyperalgesia and allodynia to thermal and tactile stimuli that mimics chronic pain and is a useful translation from preclinical research to clinical investigation. Many behavioral and self-report studies of pain have exploited the use of the capsaicin pain model, but objective biomarker correlates of the capsaicin augmented nociceptive response in nonhuman primates remains to be explored. Methodology: Here we establish an aversive capsaicin-induced fMRI model using non-noxious heat stimuli in Cynomolgus monkeys (n = 8). BOLD fMRI data were collected during thermal challenge (ON:20 s/42°C; OFF:40 s/35°C, 4-cycle) at baseline and 30 min post-capsaicin (0.1 mg, topical, forearm) application. Tail withdrawal behavioral studies were also conducted in the same animals using 42°C or 48°C water bath pre- and post- capsaicin application (0.1 mg, subcutaneous, tail). Principal Findings: Group comparisons between pre- and post-capsaicin application revealed significant BOLD signal increases in brain regions associated with the ‘pain matrix’, including somatosensory, frontal, and cingulate cortices, as well as the cerebellum (paired t-test, p<0.02, n = 8), while no significant change was found after the vehicle application. The tail withdrawal behavioral study demonstrated a significant main effect of temperature and a trend towards capsaicin induced reduction of latency at both temperatures. Conclusions: These findings provide insights into the specific brain regions involved with aversive, ‘pain-like’, responses in a nonhuman primate model. Future studies may employ both behavioral and fMRI measures as translational biomarkers to gain deeper understanding of pain processing and evaluate the preclinical efficacy of novel analgesics.

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