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We have shown that administration of the local anaesthetic bupivacaine into the base of rats' tails prevents the development of hyperalgesia induced by UV(A)-light to a noxious thermal challenge, but not to noxious mechanical challenges. The aim of this study was to determine whether exposure of rats' tails to UV(A)-light altered the responses of Adelta- and C-fibres innervating the tail to noxious mechanical and noxious thermal challenges. We dissected the right ventral coccygeal nerve in Sprague-Dawley rats that had their tails exposed to, or shielded from, UV(A)-light 24-h earlier. Single afferent Adelta- and C-fibres receptive fields were located and the response of a fibre to noxious blunt (3.9Nbar algometer) and punctate (rat toothed forceps) mechanical challenges, as well as a noxious thermal (49 degrees C) challenge was measured. In rats exposed to UV(A)-light, the peak firing rates and areas under the curve of post-challenge histograms of Adelta- and C-fibres evoked neural activity were increased when noxious blunt and punctate challenges were applied to the rats' tails. However, the peak firing rate and areas under the curve of post-challenge histograms of C-fibre evoked neural activity, which were responsive to noxious thermal challenges, were not increased after UV(A)-light exposure. We have shown that the Adelta- and C-fibres that encode for noxious punctate and blunt challenges were sensitized after UV(A)-light exposure, but C-fibres responsible for encoding noxious thermal challenges were not sensitized by UV(A)-light exposure.

Original publication




Journal article


European journal of pain (London, England)

Publication Date





580 - 587


Brain Function Research Unit, School of Physiology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Afferent Pathways, Spinal Nerves, Tail, Animals, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Hyperalgesia, Analysis of Variance, Physical Stimulation, Touch, Electrophysiology, Ultraviolet Rays, Neural Conduction, Male, Hot Temperature