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<jats:p> We characterized the time course of inflammatory cytokine release at the site of injury and in plasma after surgery on the rat tail. Anesthetized Sprague–Dawley rats had a 20 mm long incision made through the skin and fascia of their tails. Control rats were anesthetized, but no incision was made. Blood and tissue samples were taken 2 h and 1, 2, 4, and 8 days after surgery and analysed by ELISA for interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-1 (CINC-1). In another group of rats, daily behavioral measurements were made of the rats’ responses to a blunt noxious mechanical stimulus (4 Newtons) applied to their tails. Primary hyperalgesia developed within 2 h of surgery and lasted for 6 days. The tissue concentrations of IL-1β, IL-6, and CINC-1 increased within 24 h of surgery, and TNF-α concentration increased within 48 h of surgery. Thereafter, cytokine concentrations remained elevated for 4 (IL-1β and IL-6) to 8 days (CINC-1, TNF-α) after surgery. Control animals did not develop hyperalgesia and no changes in cytokines concentrations were detected. Thus, in our model of postoperative pain, secretion of inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, and CINC-1 was not essential for the initiation of postoperative hyperalgesia. </jats:p>

Original publication




Journal article


Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology


Canadian Science Publishing

Publication Date





613 - 620