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Open Access Research article

Maxillary nerve compression in cynomolgus monkey Macaca fascicularis: altered somatic sensation and peripheral nerve firing

Ning Guo1, Xiyao Gu2, Jun Zhao2, Guoping Zhao3, Meilei Jin3, Hong Zou3*, Yuqiu Zhang2*, Zhiqi Zhao2*, Gang Jason Jin1* and Lei Yu4*

Author Affiliations

1 Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and ShanghaiBio Corporation, Shanghai, China

2 Institute of Neurobiology, Institutes of Brain Science and State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China

3 Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China

4 Department of Genetics & Center of Alcohol Studies, Rutgers University, 607 Allison Road, Piscataway, New Jersey, 08854, USA

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BMC Neuroscience 2012, 13:150  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-13-150

Published: 13 December 2012

Abstract

Background

Trigeminal nerve is a major source of the sensory input of the face, and trigeminal neuropathology models have been reported in rodents with injury to branches of the maxillary or mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve. Non-human primates are neuroanatomically more closely related to human than rodents; however, nerve injury studies in non-human primates are limited.

Results

We describe here a nerve injury model of maxillary nerve compression (MNC) in the cynomolgus macaque monkey, Macaca fascicularis, and the initial characterization of the consequences of damage to this trigeminal nerve branch. The nerve injury from the compression appeared to be mild, as we did not observe overt changes in home-cage behavior in the monkeys. When mechanical stimulation was applied to the facial area, monkeys with MNC displayed increased mechanical sensitivity, as the avoidance response scores were lower than those from the control animals. Such a change in mechanical sensitivity appeared to be somewhat bilateral, as the contralateral side also showed increased mechanical sensitivity, although the change on the ipsilateral side was more robust. Multiple-unit recording of the maxillary nerve showed a general pattern of increasing responsiveness to escalating force in mechanical stimulation on the contralateral side. Ipsilateral side of the maxillary nerve showed a lack of responsiveness to escalating force in mechanical stimulation, possibly reflecting a maximum stimulation threshold effect from sensitized nerve due to MNC injury.

Conclusions

These results suggest that MNC may produce increased sensitivity of the ipsilateral maxillary nerve, and that this model may serve as a non-human primate model to evaluate the effect of injury to trigeminal nerve branches.

Keywords:
Maxillary nerve; Trigeminal nerve; Compression; Multiple-unit recording; Non-human primates