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Cold-induced vasodilatation in cold-intolerant rats after nerve injury

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Author: Smits, E.S. · Duraku, L.S. · Niehof, S.P. · Daanen, H.A.M. · Hovius, S.E.R. · Selles, R.W. · Walbeehm, E.T.
Source:Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, 9, 66, 1279-1286
Identifier: 472152
doi: doi:10.1016/j.bjps.2013.04.004
Keywords: Health · Cold stress · Cold-induced vasodilatation · Peripheral nerve injury · Rat Cold intolerance · Vasodilatation · Healthy for Life · Healthy Living · Human · TPI - Training & Performance Innovations · BSS - Behavioural and Societal Sciences


Summary Purpose: Cold-induced vasodilatation (CIVD) is a cyclic regulation of blood flow during prolonged cooling of protruding body parts. It is generally considered to be a protective mechanism against local cold injuries and cold intolerance after peripheral nerve injury. The aim of this study was to determine the role of the sympathetic system in initiating a CIVD response. Methods: Eight rats were operated according to the spared nerve injury (SNI) model, eight underwent a complete sciatic lesion (CSL) and six underwent a sham operation. Prior to operation, 3, 6 and 9 weeks postoperatively, both hind limbs were cooled and the skin temperature was recorded to evaluate the presence of CIVD reactions. Cold intolerance was determined using the cold plate test and mechanical hypersensitivity measured using the Von Frey test. Results: No significant difference in CIVD was found comparing the lateral operated hind limb for time (preoperatively and 3, 6 and 9 weeks postoperatively; p Z 0.397) and for group (SNI, CSL and Sham; p Z 0.695). SNI and CSL rats developed cold intolerance and mechanical hypersensitivity. Conclusion: Our data show that the underlying mechanisms that initiate a CIVD reaction are not affected by damage to a peripheral nerve that includes the sympathetic fibres. We conclude that the sympathetic system does not play a major role in the initiation of CIVD in the hind limb of a rat.