Investigation of the predictive validity of laser- EPs in normal, UVB-inflamed and capsaicin-irritated skin with four analgesic compounds in healthy volunteers


Klaus Schaffler, Laurent B. Nicolas, Andreas Borta, Tobias Brand, Peter Reitmeir, Robert Roebling and Joachim Scholpp in Br J Clin Pharmacol (Jan 2017) DOI:10.1111/bcp.13247


The aim of the present study was to assess the predictivity of laser-(radiant-heat)-evoked potentials (LEPs) from the vertex electroencephalogram, using an algesimetric procedure, testing the anti-nociceptive/anti-hyperalgesic effects of single oral doses of four marketed analgesics (of different compound classes) vs. placebo, in healthy volunteers with three skin types.
This was a randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blind, five-way-crossover trial. Twenty-five healthy male/female Caucasians were included (receiving celecoxib 200 mg, pregabalin 150 mg, duloxetine 60 mg, lacosamide 100 mg or placebo) in a Williams design, with CO2 laser-induced painful stimuli to normal, ultraviolet (UV) B-inflamed and capsaicin-irritated skin. LEPs and visual analogue scale ratings were taken at baseline and hourly for 6 h postdose from all three skin types.
In normal skin, the averaged postdose LEP peak-to-peak-(PtP)-amplitudes were reduced by pregabalin (2.68 μV; 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.16, 1.19) and duloxetine (1.73 μV; 95% CI 3.21, 0.26) but not by lacosamide and celecoxib vs. placebo.
On UVB-irradiated skin, reflecting inflammatory pain, celecoxib induced a pronounced reduction in LEP PtP amplitudes vs. placebo (6.2 μV; 95% CI 7.88, 4.51), with a smaller reduction by duloxetine (4.54 μV; 95% CI 6.21, 2.87) and pregabalin (3.72 μV; 95% CI 5.40, 2.04), whereas lacosamide was inactive.
LEP PtP amplitudes on capsaicin-irritated skin, reflecting peripheral/spinal sensitization, as in neuropathic pain, were reduced by pregabalin (3.78 μV; 95% CI 5.31, 2.25) and duloxetine (2.32 μV; 95% CI 3.82, 0.82) but not by celecoxib or lacosamide vs. placebo, which was in agreement with known clinical profiles. Overall, PtP amplitude reductions were in agreement with subjective ratings.
LEP algesimetry is sensitive to analgesics with different modes of action and may enable the effects of novel analgesics to be assessed during early clinical development.