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Effects of Vancomycin on Persistent Pain-Stimulated and Pain-Depressed Behaviors in Female Fischer Rats With or Without Voluntary Access to Running Wheels

      Highlights

      • Vancomycin (VANC) attenuated pain-stimulated behaviors in female Fischer rats
      • VANC also prevented pain-depressed wheel running in female Fischer rats
      • The VANC treatment effect was associated with a specific gut amino acid profile

      Abstract

      The present experiments determined the effects of the narrow-spectrum antibiotic vancomycin on inflammatory pain-stimulated and pain-depressed behaviors in rats. Persistent inflammatory pain was modeled using dilute formalin (0.5%). Two weeks of oral vancomycin administered in drinking water attenuated Phase II formalin pain-stimulated behavior, and prevented formalin pain-depressed wheel running. Fecal microbiota transplantation produced a non-significant trend toward reversal of the vancomycin effect on pain-stimulated behavior. Vancomycin depleted Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes populations in the gut while having a partial sparing effect on Lactobacillus species and Clostridiales. The vancomycin treatment effect was associated with an altered profile in amino acid concentrations in the gut with increases in arginine, glycine, alanine, proline, valine, leucine, and decreases in tyrosine and methionine. These results indicate that vancomycin may have therapeutic effects against persistent inflammatory pain conditions that are distal to the gut.

      Perspective

      The narrow-spectrum antibiotic vancomycin reduces pain-related behaviors in the formalin model of inflammatory pain. These data suggest that manipulation of the gut microbiome may be one method to attenuate inflammatory pain amplitude.

      Key words

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