In recent years, scientists have worked to rectify the lim itations of animal models, including development of models that more closely represent individual disease states. For example, as a model of peripheral diabetic neuropathy, a single injection of streptozotocin induces diabetes in the rat and is associated with the development of reflex hypersensitivity.15 To model trigeminal neuralgia, chronic constriction injury of the infraorbital branch of the trigeminal nerve has been described.16 In order to reproduce some features of postherpetic neuralgia, varicella zoster virus-infected fibroblasts are injected into the hindpaw and retrogradely transported to the cell bodies of sensory neurons in the DRG.17,18,19 Similarly, the mechanisms by which the HIV virus could directly interact with the nervous system to produce peripheral neuropathic pain are being investigated by studying the effects of the
HIV-envelope protein, glycoprotein 120 (gp120) in vivo.20,
21, 22 Gp120 is thought to be key to the production of neurological disorders associated with HIV infection via the activation of the chemokine receptors CXCR4 and CCR5 expressed by neurons and glial cells.23 Finally, drug-induced neuropathies are becoming more prevalent clinically with painful peripheral neuropathy presenting as an unfortunate side effect of treatment with chemother-apeutics, including taxols and vinca alkaloids, or with antiretroviral agents which form part of the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for the treatment of HIV disease. Rats treated systemically with such drugs develop signs of a neuropathic phenotype and are therefore important, clinically relevant models that are currently being investigated for the understanding of underlying mechanisms.22'24'25'26'27 The aforementioned models are important as they model some aspects of the diseases most frequently associated with neuropathic pain.
The majority of neuropathic pain models were originally described in rats, but more recently have adapted to the mouse. The translation of these models from rat to mouse is important as novel transgenic tools, useful for the study of neuropathic pain, are further developed.
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