Spinal neurons that possess the substance P receptor are required for the development of central sensitization.
ABSTRACT In previous studies, we have shown that loss of spinal neurons that possess the substance P receptor (SPR) attenuated pain and hyperalgesia produced by capsaicin, inflammation, and nerve injury. To determine the role of SPR-expressing neurons in modulating pain and hyperalgesia, responses of superficial and deep lumbar spinal dorsal horn neurons evoked by mechanical and heat stimuli and by capsaicin were made after ablation of SPR-expressing neurons using the selective cytotoxin conjugate substance P-saporin (SP-SAP). Morphological analysis and electrophysiological recordings were made after intrathecal infusion of vehicle, saporin alone, or SP-SAP. SP-SAP, but not vehicle or SAP alone, produced an approximately 62% decrease in SPR-expressing neurons in the dorsal horn. Loss of SPR-expressing neurons diminished the responses of remaining neurons to intraplantar injection of capsaicin. Peak responses to 10 microg of capsaicin were approximately 65% lower in animals pretreated with SP-SAP compared with controls. Additionally, sensitization to mechanical and heat stimuli that normally follows capsaicin was rarely observed. Importantly, responses to mechanical and heat stimuli in the absence of capsaicin were not altered after SP-SAP treatment. In addition, nociceptive neurons did not exhibit windup in the SP-SAP-treated group. These results demonstrate that SPR-expressing neurons located in the dorsal horn are a pivotal component of the spinal circuits involved in triggering central sensitization and hyperalgesia. It appears that this relatively small population of neurons can regulate the physiological properties of other nociceptive neurons and drive central sensitization.
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ABSTRACT: Previous investigations of the anatomical basis of the neuropathic-like manifestations in the spinal nerve ligation animal model have shown that the central terminations of the unmyelinated primary afferents of L5 spinal nerve are not restricted to the corresponding L5 spinal segment, and rather extend to two spinal segments rostrally and one segment caudally where they intermingle with primary afferents of the adjacent L4 spinal nerve. The aim of the present study was to investigate the neurochemical changes in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and DRGs after L5 nerve injury in rats. In the first experiment, the right L5 nerve was ligated and sectioned for 14 days, and isolectin B4 (IB4, a tracer for unmyelinated primary afferents) was injected into the left L5 nerve. The results showed that the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) was up-regulated in laminae I-II of L3-L6 spinal segments on the right side in exactly the same areas where IB4 labelled terminals were revealed on the left side. In the second experiment, L5 was ligated and sectioned and the spinal cord and DRGs were stained immunocytochemically with antibodies raised against various peptides known to be involved in pain transmission and hyperalgesia. The results showed that L5 nerve lesion caused down-regulation of substance P, calcitonin-gene related peptide and IB4 binding and up-regulation of neuropeptide Y and neurokinin-1 receptor in the dorsal horn of L4 and L5 spinal segments. Similar neurochemical changes were observed only in the corresponding L5 DRG with minimal effects observed in L3, L4 and L6 DRGs. Although, L5 nerve injury caused an up-regulation in NPY, no change in SP and CGRP immunoreactivity was observed in ipsilateral garcile nucleus. These neuroplastic changes in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, in the adjacent uninjured territories of the central terminations of the adjacent uninjured nerves, might explain the mechanism of hyperalgesia after peripheral nerve injury.Journal of chemical neuroanatomy 01/2014; · 1.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A copper/low-density polyethylene nanocomposite (nano-Cu/LDPE), a potential intrauterine device component material, has been developed from our research. A logical extension of our previous work, this study was conducted to investigate the expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), substance P (SP), and substance P receptor (SP-R) in the endometrium of Sprague Dawley rats, New Zealand White rabbits, and Macaca mulatta implanted with nano-Cu/LDPE composite. The influence of the nano-Cu/LDPE composite on the morphology of the endometrium was also investigated. Animals were randomly divided into five groups: the sham-operated control group (SO group), bulk copper group (Cu group), LDPE group, and nano-Cu/LDPE groups I and II. An expression of PAI-1, SP, and SP-R in the endometrial tissues was examined by immunohistochemistry at day 30, 60, 90, and 180 postimplantation. The significant difference for PAI-1, SP, and SP-R between the nano-Cu/LDPE groups and the SO group (P<0.05) was identified when the observation period was terminated, and the changes of nano-Cu/LDPE on these parameters were less remarkable than those of the Cu group (P<0.05). The damage to the endometrial morphology caused by the nano-Cu/LDPE composite was much less than that caused by bulk copper. The nano-Cu/LDPE composite might be a potential substitute for conventional materials for intrauterine devices in the future because of its decreased adverse effects on the endometrial microenvironment.International Journal of Nanomedicine 01/2014; 9:1127-38. · 4.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The facet joint is a common source of pain especially from mechanical injury. Although chronic pain is associated with altered spinal glial and neuronal responses, the contribution of specific spinal cells to joint pain are not understood. This study used the neurotoxin [Sar(9),Met(O2)(11)]-substance P-saporin (SSP-SAP) to selectively eliminate spinal cells expressing neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R) in a rat model of painful facet joint injury to determine the role of those spinal neurons in pain from facet injury. Following spinal administration of SSP-SAP or its control (blank-SAP), a cervical facet injury was imposed and behavioral sensitivity assessed. Spinal extracellular recordings were made on day 7 to classify neurons and quantify evoked firing. Spinal glial activation and IL1α expression also were evaluated. SSP-SAP prevented the development of mechanical hyperalgesia that is induced by joint injury and reduced NK1R expression and mechanically-evoked neuronal firing in the dorsal horn. SSP-SAP also prevented a shift toward wide dynamic range neurons that is seen after injury. Spinal astrocytic activation and IL1α expression were reduced to sham levels with SSP-SAP treatment. These results suggest that spinal NK1R-bearing cells are critical in initiating spinal nociception and inflammation associated with a painful mechanical joint injury. Results demonstrate that cells expressing NK1R in the spinal cord are critical for the development of joint pain and spinal neuroplasticity and inflammation after trauma to the joint. These findings have utility for understanding mechanisms of joint pain and developing potential targets to treat pain.The journal of pain: official journal of the American Pain Society 01/2014; · 4.22 Impact Factor