Spinal dorsal horn neuronal responses to myelinated versus unmyelinated heat nociceptors and their modulation by activation of the periaqueductal grey in the rat.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to further understand the central processing of inputs arising from unmyelinated and myelinated nociceptors by (i) determining the response characteristics of Class 2 dorsal horn neurones to preferential activation of C- and A-fibre heat nociceptors, and (ii) investigating the control exerted by the dorsolateral/lateral region of the midbrain periaqueductal grey (DL/L-PAG) on C- and A-fibre-evoked responses of these neurones. The use of different rates of skin heating to preferentially activate unmyelinated (C-fibre; 2.5 degrees C s(-1)) versus myelinated (A-fibre; 7.5 degrees C s(-1)) heat nociceptors revealed that, in response to C-nociceptor activation, Class 2 neurones encode well only over the first 5 degrees C above threshold, and that at higher temperatures responses decline. In contrast, responses to A-nociceptor activation are linear and encode skin temperature over more than 10 degrees C, and almost certainly into the tissue-damaging range. PAG stimulation raised thresholds and decreased significantly the magnitude of responses to A- and C-nociceptor activation. However, differences were revealed in the effects of descending control on the relationships between skin temperature and neuronal firing rate; the linear relationship that occurred over the first 5 degrees C of slow rates of skin heating was no longer evident, whereas that to fast rates of skin heating was maintained over the entire range, albeit shifted to the right. These data indicate that the sensori-discriminative information conveyed in A-fibre nociceptors is maintained and that the information from C-nociceptors is lost in the presence of descending control from the DL/L-PAG. The data are discussed in relation to the role of the DL/L-PAG in mediating active coping strategies.
Article: Midbrain control of spinal nociception discriminates between responses evoked by myelinated and unmyelinated heat nociceptors in the rat.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Descending control of spinal nociception is a major determinant of normal and chronic pain. Myelinated (A-fibre) and unmyelinated (C-fibre) nociceptors convey different qualities of the pain signal (first and second pain, respectively), and they play different roles in the development and maintenance of chronic pain states. It is of considerable importance, therefore, to determine whether descending control has differential effects on the central processing of A- vs. C-nociceptive input. In anaesthetised rats, biceps femoris EMG was recorded to monitor the thresholds and encoding properties of responses evoked by fast (7.5 degrees Cs(-1)) or slow (2.5 degrees Cs(-1)) rates of skin heating of the dorsal surface of a hindpaw to preferentially activate myelinated or unmyelinated heat nociceptors, respectively. Activation of neurones in the periaqueductal grey (PAG) by microinjection of dl-homocysteic acid (DLH) or bicuculline (BIC) significantly increased response thresholds to slow rates of heating (P<0.001), but not those to fast rates of heating (P>0.05). The ability of the EMG to encode the stimulus intensity of fast rates of skin heating remained intact and unaltered (r2=0.99, P<0.001) following BIC but not DLH injection. In contrast, encoding of the stimulus intensity of slow rates of skin heating was abolished following BIC and DLH injection. The functional significance of differential descending control of the central processing of C- and A-nociceptive inputs is discussed with respect to role of the PAG in mediating antinociception as part of active coping strategies in emergency situations and the role of C- and A-nociceptive inputs in animal models of chronic pain.Pain 10/2006; 124(1-2):59-68. · 5.78 Impact Factor
Article: Molecular imaging and gene therapy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Molecular imaging is an emerging field of study that deals with imaging of disease on a cellular or genetic level rather than on a gross level. Recent advances in this field show promise, particularly in the imaging of gene expression. This article reviews the use of nuclear medicine, magnetic resonance, and optic imaging to visualize gene expression. A review is presented of current in vitro assays for protein and gene expression and the translation of these methods into the radiologic sciences. The merging fields of molecular biology, molecular medicine, and imaging modalities may provide the means to screen active drugs in vivo, image molecular processes, and diagnose disease at a presymptomatic stage.Journal of Nuclear Medicine 10/2001; 42(9):1368-74. · 6.38 Impact Factor