Dose–response study of topical allyl isothiocyanate (mustard oil) as a human surrogate model of pain, hyperalgesia, and neurogenic inflammation

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Despite being a ubiquitous animal pain model, the natural TRPA1-agonist allyl-isothiocyanate (AITC, also known as "mustard oil") has only been sparsely investigated as a potential human surrogate model of pain, sensitization, and neurogenic inflammation. Its dose-response as an algogenic, sensitizing irritant remains to be elucidated in human skin. Three concentrations of AITC (10%, 50%, 90%) and vehicle (paraffin) were applied for 5 min to 3x3 cm areas on the volar forearms in 14 healthy volunteers, and evoked pain intensity (visual analog scale 0-100 mm) and pain quality were assessed. In addition, a comprehensive battery of quantitative sensory tests was conducted including assessment of mechanical and thermal sensitivity. Neurogenic inflammation was quantified using Laser Imaging perfusion (FLPI). Erythema and hyperpigmentation were assessed before, immediately after, and ≈64 hours after AITC exposure. AITC induced significant dose-dependent, moderate-to-severe spontaneous burning pain, mechanical and heat hyperalgesia as well as dynamic mechanical allodynia (p <0.05). No significant differences in induced pain hypersensitivity were observed between the 50% and 90% AITC concentrations. Acute and prolonged inflammation was evoked by all concentrations and assessments by FLPI demonstrated a significant dose-dependent increase with a ceiling effect from 50% to 90%. Topical AITC application produces pain and somatosensory sensitization in a dose-dependent manner with optimal concentrations recommended to be >10% and ≤50%. The model is translatable to humans and could be useful in pharmacological proof-of-concept studies of TRPA1-antagonists, analgesics and anti-inflammatory compounds or for exploratory clinical purposes, e.g. loss- or gain-of-function in peripheral neuropathies.

Udgave nummer9
Sider (fra-til)1723-1732
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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