Pulsed Radiofrequency Increases Nestin and Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 Expression in Porcine Lumbar Dorsal Root Ganglion

Mihails Arons (Coresponding Author), Mara Pilmane, Arun Bhaskar, David J. Kopsky, Vladimir Romanenko, Olav Rohof

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Background: Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) has been used for the treatment of chronic lumbar radicular pain and other chronic pain states. The dorsal root ganglion (DRG) consists of primary afferent somatic and visceral nerve cell bodies that transduce sensory signals from the periphery to the central part of the nervous system. It is a very important part of acute nociception, as well as the development and maintenance of chronic pain. Methods: A total of seven domestic pigs were investigated. All pigs underwent a PRF procedure while under general anesthesia and with X-ray imaging. Four lumbar DRGs were randomly treated. We used the opposite side of the DRGs as controls. The lumbar region of the spine was placed in 10% formaldehyde for one month. After this fixation, DRG samples were prepared for slide analysis. Results: Nestin (Nes, code-Nr. AB 5968, dilution 1:250, rabbit, Abcam, United Kingdom) and matrix metallopeptidase 2 (MMP-2, code-Nr. DUB 03, dilution 1:100, goat) expressions were detected by immunohistochemical staining. The cell numbers with Nes (28.4 ± 3.3 vs. 16.1 ± 3.4; P < 0.05) and MMP-2 (26.2 ± 3.2 vs. 14.1 ± 2.3; P < 0.05) expressions were larger on the PRF side compared to the control side. The glial cells in the spinal ganglia on both sides showed immunoreactivity. Conclusions: The increase of MMP-2-containing gangliocytes one month after PRF procedures highlights active neural cell prolifer-ation. Increased Nes factor expression in spinal gangliocytes of the lumbar region indicates neural remodeling and regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere110531
Number of pages7
JournalAnesthesiology and Pain Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Dorsal Ganglion Root
  • Morphology
  • Nestin
  • Pulsed Radiofrequency

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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