A Better Touch: C-tactile Fibers Related Activity is Associated to Pain Reduction During Temporal Summation of Second Pain

Article


Fidanza, F., Polimeni, E., Pierangeli, V. and Martini, M. 2021. A Better Touch: C-tactile Fibers Related Activity is Associated to Pain Reduction During Temporal Summation of Second Pain. The Journal of Pain. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2021.01.001
AuthorsFidanza, F., Polimeni, E., Pierangeli, V. and Martini, M.
Abstract

C-tactile (CT) fibers, responsible for the so-called “affective” touch (AT), have drawn a fair amount of attention within the scientific community for their marked social dimension. However, while the pain-relieving potential of discriminative touch (DT) has been documented, proofs of the analgesic properties of AT are still scarce. Additionally, no study has so far tested its possible pain-relieving effect on a clinically-relevant model. Temporal summation of second pain (TSSP), otherwise referred to as “wind-up,” relies on repetitive stimulation of C-nociceptors and it is thought to reflect central sensitization, a process linked to many chronic pain conditions. In the present experimental, within participants, design we induced TSSP through trains of ascending and descending repetitive heat stimulation. Forty-two healthy participants’ pain was measured during 2 different tactile stimulations (stroking velocities AT: 10 cm/s; DT: 0.3 cm/s) or without concomitant tactile input. Since measures of pleasantness of the tactile stimulation have been found to strongly correlate with C-tactile fibers’ firing rate, these, together with participants’ body awareness, were also taken into account.

Our results show that AT brought about a decrease of our participants’ pain as opposed to both DT and no touch, while DT did not produce any significant pain reduction. Thus, only AT successfully modulated wind-up. As expected, AT was perceived as more pleasant than DT, while a clear relationship between body awareness and pain was found only during DT.

Targeting CT fibers could pave the way to new treatments for chronic pain conditions whose aetiology depend on abnormal C-nociceptors’ physiology.

Perspective: This study extends previous findings on the analgesic potential of affective touch, documenting a clear pain reduction during temporal summation of second pain (TSSP). Since TSSP is thought to reflect central sensitization, the psychophysiological mechanisms of affective touch could be exploited for new chronic pain treatments.

JournalThe Journal of Pain
ISSN1526-5900
Year2021
PublisherElsevier for American Pain Society
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2021.01.001
Publication dates
Online16 Jan 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted03 Jan 2021
Deposited22 Jan 2021
Copyright holder© 2021 by United States Association for the Study of Pain, Inc.
Permalink -

https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/88y0x

Restricted files

Accepted author manuscript

  • 15
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 6
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Pain modulation by illusory body rotation: A new way to disclose the interaction between the vestibular system and pain processing
Daniel, A., Barker, L. and Martini, M. 2020. Pain modulation by illusory body rotation: A new way to disclose the interaction between the vestibular system and pain processing. European Journal of Pain. 24 (6), pp. 1119-1129. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.1556
Altered visual feedback from an embodied avatar unconsciously influences movement amplitude and muscle activity
Bourdin, P., Martini, M. and Sanchez-Vives, M. V. 2019. Altered visual feedback from an embodied avatar unconsciously influences movement amplitude and muscle activity. Scientific Reports. 9 (Art. 19747). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-56034-5
Agency and responsibility over virtual movements controlled through different paradigms of brain−computer interface
Nierula, B., Spanlang, B., Martini, M., Borrell, M., Nikulin, V. V. and Sanchez-Vives, M. V. 2019. Agency and responsibility over virtual movements controlled through different paradigms of brain−computer interface. Journal of Physiology. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP278167
Visuo-tactile stimulation, but not type of movement, modulates pain during the vision of a moving virtual limb
Gordon, C., Barbullushi, A., Tombolini, S., Margiotta, F., Ciacci, A., Sheck, L., Barker, L. and Martini, M. 2019. Visuo-tactile stimulation, but not type of movement, modulates pain during the vision of a moving virtual limb. Pain Management. 9 (5), pp. 449-460. https://doi.org/10.2217/pmt-2019-0019
Commentary: Mechanical Pain Thresholds and the Rubber Hand Illusion
Martini, M. 2018. Commentary: Mechanical Pain Thresholds and the Rubber Hand Illusion. Frontiers in Psychology. 9, p. Art. 1715. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01715
The Bodily Illusion in Adverse Conditions: Virtual Arm Ownership During Visuomotor Mismatch
Caola, Barbara, Montalti, Martina, Zanini, Alessandro, Leadbetter, Antony and Martini, M. 2018. The Bodily Illusion in Adverse Conditions: Virtual Arm Ownership During Visuomotor Mismatch. Perception. 47 (5), pp. 477 -491. https://doi.org/10.1177/0301006618758211
Selective distortion of body image by asynchronous visuotactile stimulation
Perez-Marcos, Daniel, Martini, M., Fuentes, Christina T., Bellido Rivas, Anna I., Haggard, Patrick and Sanchez-Vives, Maria V. 2017. Selective distortion of body image by asynchronous visuotactile stimulation. Body Image. 24, pp. 55-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2017.11.002
Pain During Illusory Own Arm Movement: A Study in Immersive Virtual Reality
Zanini, Alessandro, Montalti, Martina, Caola, Barbara, Leadbetter, A. and Martini, M. 2017. Pain During Illusory Own Arm Movement: A Study in Immersive Virtual Reality. European Medical Journal. 2 (2), pp. 90-97.
Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Chronic Pain and Depression: any Possible Applications of Multisensory Feedback Approaches Based on Body Representation?
Martini, M. 2017. Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Chronic Pain and Depression: any Possible Applications of Multisensory Feedback Approaches Based on Body Representation? Psychology and Behavioral Science International Journal. 2 (5), p. 555599. https://doi.org/10.19080/PBSIJ.2017.02.555599
Seeing an embodied virtual hand is analgesic contingent on co-location
Nierula, Birgit, Martini, M., Matamala-Gomez, Marta, Slater, Mel and Sanchez-Vives, Maria V. 2017. Seeing an embodied virtual hand is analgesic contingent on co-location. The Journal of Pain. 18 (6), pp. 645-655. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2017.01.003
Real, rubber or virtual: The vision of “one’s own” body as a means for pain modulation. A narrative review
Martini, M. 2016. Real, rubber or virtual: The vision of “one’s own” body as a means for pain modulation. A narrative review. Consciousness and Cognition. 43, pp. 143-151. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2016.06.005
Modulation of pain threshold by virtual body ownership
Martini, M., Perez-Marcos, D. and Sanchez-Vives, M.V. 2014. Modulation of pain threshold by virtual body ownership. European Journal of Pain. 18 (7), pp. 1040-1048.
Author's reply to the commentary by Gilpin et. al.
Martini, M., Perez-Marcos, D. and Sanchez-Vives, M.V. 2014. Author's reply to the commentary by Gilpin et. al. European Journal of Pain. 19 (1), pp. 143-144. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.606
Intracortical modulation, and not spinal inhibition, mediates placebo analgesia
Martini, M., Lee, M. C. H., Valentini, E. and Iannetti, G. D. 2014. Intracortical modulation, and not spinal inhibition, mediates placebo analgesia. European Journal of Neuroscience. 41 (4), pp. 498-504.
The body fades away: investigating the effects of transparency of an embodied virtual body on pain threshold and body ownership
Martini, M., Kilteni, Konstantina, Maselli, Antonella and Sanchez-Vives, Maria V. 2015. The body fades away: investigating the effects of transparency of an embodied virtual body on pain threshold and body ownership. Scientific Reports. 5, p. 13948. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep13948
Is That Me or My Twin? Lack of Self-Face Recognition Advantage in Identical Twins
Martini, M., Bufalari, Ilaria, Stazi, Maria Antonietta and Aglioti, Salvatore Maria 2015. Is That Me or My Twin? Lack of Self-Face Recognition Advantage in Identical Twins. PLOS ONE. 10 (4), p. e0120900. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0120900