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    Perceptual correlates of homosynaptic long-term potentiation in human nociceptive pathways: A replication study

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    Animal studies have shown that high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of peripheral C-fibres induces long-term potentiation (LTP) within spinal nociceptive pathways. The aim of this replication study was to assess if a perceptual correlate of LTP can be observed in humans. In 20 healthy volunteers, we applied HFS to the left or right volar forearm. Before and after applying HFS, we delivered single electrical test stimuli through the HFS electrode while a second electrode at the contra-lateral arm served as a control condition. Moreover, to test the efficacy of the HFS protocol, we quantified changes in mechanical pinprick sensitivity before and after HFS of the skin surrounding both electrodes. The perceived intensity was collected for both electrical and mechanical stimuli. After HFS, the perceived pain intensity elicited by the mechanical pinprick stimuli applied on the skin surrounding the HFS-treated site was significantly higher compared to control site (heterotopic effect). Furthermore, we found a higher perceived pain intensity for single electrical stimuli delivered to the HFS-treated site compared to the control site (homotopic effect). Whether the homotopic effect reflects a perceptual correlate of homosynaptic LTP remains to be elucidated.Fil: van de Broeke, Emanuel N.. Université Catholique de Louvain; BélgicaFil: Vanmaele, Tessa. Katholikie Universiteit Leuven; BélgicaFil: Mouraux, André. Université Catholique de Louvain; BélgicaFil: Stouffs, Alexandre. Université Catholique de Louvain; BélgicaFil: Biurrun Manresa, José Alberto. Universidad Nacional de Entre Ríos. Instituto de Investigación y Desarrollo en Bioingeniería y Bioinformática - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Santa Fe. Instituto de Investigación y Desarrollo en Bioingeniería y Bioinformática; ArgentinaFil: Torta, Diana M.. Katholikie Universiteit Leuven; Bélgic