Endometriosis-induced vaginal hyperalgesia in the rat: role of the ectopic growths and their innervation.

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Endometriosis is a painful disorder defined by extrauteral endometrial growths whose contribution to pain symptoms is poorly understood. Endometriosis is created in rats by autotransplanting on abdominal arteries pieces of either uterus (ENDO), which form cysts, or fat (shamENDO), which do not form cysts. ENDO, but not shamENDO induces vaginal hyperalgesia. We tested the hypothesis that the cysts are necessary to maintain vaginal hyperalgesia by assessing the effect of surgically removing them. Complete-cyst-removal eliminated ENDO-induced vaginal hyperalgesia up to 4 months post-operatively. Sham-cyst-removal in ENDO rats, in which cysts were not removed, or partial cyst-removal increased the ENDO-induced hyperalgesia. The decreases and increases both took 3-6 weeks to develop. Changes in ENDO-induced hyperalgesia did not occur in a control group of ENDO rats who had no surgery after ENDO. In a double-surgery control group, neither shamENDO surgery nor a subsequent sham surgery that mimicked "removal" of non-existent cysts influenced vaginal nociception. In a no-surgery control group, vaginal nociception remained stable for >6 months. The increases in ENDO-induced hyperalgesia produced by the sham-cyst-removal surgery were smaller in proestrus than in other estrous stages. During the other stages (but not during proestrus), sympathetic innervation of the cysts increased. These results suggest that maintenance of ENDO-induced vaginal hyperalgesia requires continued presence of at least some ectopic endometrial tissue, and that surgical treatment that fails to remove ectopic endometrial tissue can exacerbate the hyperalgesia, possibly due in part to an increase in the cysts' sympathetic innervation.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • PAIN  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Analysis of Variance, Animals, Area Under Curve, Disease Models, Animal, Endometriosis, Escape Reaction, Estrous Cycle, Female, Hyperalgesia, Pain Measurement, Pain Threshold, Pelvic Pain, Physical Stimulation, Rats, Time Factors, Transplantation, Autologous, Vagina
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McAllister SL; McGinty KA; Resuehr D; Berkley KJ
  • Start Page

  • 255
  • End Page

  • 264
  • Volume

  • 147
  • Issue

  • 1-3