ASICs Do Not Play a Role in Maintaining Hyperalgesia Induced by Repeated Intramuscular Acid Injections
Repeated intramuscular acid injections produce long-lasting mechanical hyperalgesia that depends on activation of ASICs. The present study investigated if pH-activated currents in sensory neurons innervating muscle were altered in response to repeated acid injections, and if blockade of ASICs reverses existing hyperalgesia. In muscle sensory neurons, the mean acid-evoked current amplitudes and the biophysical properties of the ASIC-like currents were unchanged following acidic saline injections when compared to neutral pH saline injections or uninjected controls. Moreover, increased mechanical sensitivity of the muscle and paw after the second acid injection was unaffected by local blockade of ASICs (A-317567) in the muscle. As a control, electron microscopic analysis showed that the tibial nerve was undamaged after acid injections. Our previous studies demonstrated that ASICs are important in the development of hyperalgesia to repeated acid injections. However, the current data suggest that ASICs are not involved in maintaining hyperalgesia to repeated intramuscular acid injections.