gms | German Medical Science

63rd Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society (JNS)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

13 - 16 June 2012, Leipzig

Effects of repetitive exposure to pain and morphine treatment on the neonatal rat brain

Meeting Abstract

  • L. Dührsen - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf; Klinik für Neonatologie, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • S.H.P. Simons - Klinik für Neonatologie, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin; Department of Pediatric Surgery and Pain Expertise Centre, Erasmus MC-Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, VU Medical Center Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • V. Boos - Klinik für Neonatologie, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • M. Sifringer - Klinik für Neonatologie, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin; Department of Pediatric Surgery and Pain Expertise Centre, Erasmus MC-Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • D. Tibboel - Department of Pediatric Surgery and Pain Expertise Centre, Erasmus MC-Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • U.F. Felderhoff-Mueser - Klinik für Neonatologie, Kinderheilkunde. Universitätsklinikum Essen

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 63. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (JNS). Leipzig, 13.-16.06.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocP 019

DOI: 10.3205/12dgnc406, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-12dgnc4065

Published: June 4, 2012

© 2012 Dührsen et al.
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Outline

Text

Objective: Pain may damage to the developing brain of preterm neonates. As neurotoxicity of many pharmacological agents is also suggested, adequate analgesia during neonatal intensive care treatment is still limited. This study investigated the effects of neonatal pain and morphine treatment on the developing brain in a neonatal rat model.

Methods: Newborn rats were randomly assigned to: treatment with formalin injections (group 1), saline injections (group 2) and controls receiving no injections (group 3). Treatment was given at postnatal day 1–3 (model A), 1–5 (model B) and 10–12 (model C). Brains were studied histologically and protein expression was evaluated (protein kinase c epsilon and doublecortin). Effects of pre-emptive morphine treatment were studied in the same model.

Results: In model A significantly more degenerative cells were detected in formalin treated animals. In model B amounts of degenerated neurons in the formalin and saline group were comparable. In model C no neurodegenerative effects were detected. The protein expression of doublecortin showed a pain related upregulation in the thalamus region, whereas the expression of protein kinase c was upregulated in the cortex. Morphine injections prior to painful stimuli lead to a reduction in neuronal degeneration.

Conclusions: Severe inflammatory pain and pain caused by repetitive injections in neonatal rats may cause severe changes in the developing brain during the first week of life. Morphine may protect the newborn brain against these changes. These data support the idea to adequately treat neonatal pain with morphine.