Doreen B Osgood, William F Harrington, Elizabeth V Kenney, J Frederick Harrington

Surgical Neurology International 2013 4(1):106-106

Background: The authors have previously demonstrated that human herniated disc material contains high concentrations of free glutamate. In an experimental model, elevated epidural glutamate concentrations in the lumbar spine can cause a focal hyperesthetic state. Methods: Rats underwent epidural glutamate infusion in the lumbar spine by a miniosmotic pump over a 72-hour period. Some rats underwent coinfusion with glutamate and ionotropic glutamate antagonists. Nociception was assessed by von Frey fibers and by assessment of glutamate receptor expression in the corresponding dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Results: The kainic acid antagonist, UBP 301, decreased epidural glutamate-based hyperesthesia in a dose dependent manner. Concordant with these findings, there was significant decrease in kainate receptor expression in the dorsal horn. The N-Methyl-4-isoxazoleproionic acid (NMDA) antagonist Norketamine also significantly diminished hyperesthesia and decreased receptor expression in the dorsal horn. Conclusions: Both UBP 301, the kainic acid receptor antagonist and Norketamine, an NMDA receptor antagonist, dampened epidural glutamate-based nociception. Focal epidural injections of Kainate or NMDA receptor antagonists could be effective treatments for disc herniation-based lumbar radiculopathy.