Intracerebroventricular Treatment with Resiniferatoxin and Pain Tests in Mice

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The transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1), a thermosensitive cation channel, is known to trigger pain in the peripheral nerves. In addition to its peripheral function, its involvement in brain functions has also been suggested. Resiniferatoxin (RTX), an ultrapotent TRPV1 agonist, has been known to induce long-term desensitization of TRPV1, and this desensitization has been an alternative approach for investigating the physiological relevance of TRPV1-expressing cells. Here we describe a protocol for intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) treatment with RTX in mice. Procedures are described for testing nociception to peripheral TRPV1 stimulation (RTX test) and mechanical stimulation (tail pressure test) then follow. Although the nociceptive responses of mice that had been administered RTX i.c.v. were comparable to those of the control groups, RTX-i.c.v.-administered mice were insensitive to the analgesic effect of acetaminophen, suggesting that i.c.v. RTX treatment can induce supraspinal-selective TRPV1 desensitization. This mouse model can be used as a convenient experimental system for studying the role of TRPV1 in brain/supraspinal function. These techniques can also be applied to studies of the central actions of other drugs.