Continuous perfusion with morphine of the orbitofrontal cortex reduces allodynia and hyperalgesia in a rat model for mononeuropathy
Recent imaging reports demonstrate the activation of the orbitofrontal cortical (OFC) area during acute and chronic pain. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of chronic perfusion of this area with morphine on nociception in control rats and in rats subjected to mononeuropathy. Chronic perfusion of morphine, using miniosmotic pumps, produced significant and naloxone-reversible depression of tactile and cold allodynias and thermal hyperalgesia, observed in neuropathic rats, while it produced significant elevation and naloxone insensitive increase of acute nociceptive thresholds in control rats. The observed results support the idea that this area is a component of a flexible cerebral network involved in pain processing and perception.