Depression of activities of dorsal horn convergent neurones by propriospinal mechanisms triggered by noxious inputs; comparison with diffuse noxious inhibitory controls (DNIC).


:The ability of heterotopic noxious stimuli to inhibit the activity of dorsal horn convergent neurones was investigated in both intact anesthetized, and spinal unanesthetized rats. Forty-four convergent neurones in lumbar dorsal horn were recognized by their ability to respond to both noxious and non-noxious natural stimuli and by their characteristic responses corresponding to A- and C-fibre activity following electrical stimulation of their cutaneous excitatory receptive fields on the ipsilateral hindpaw. The application of a sustained pinch to the excitatory receptive field resulted in an initial phasic activation of the neurone, which adapted to a stable tonic level of activity (mean 31.8 +/- 2.2 spikes/s). The levels of activity produced in this fashion were not appreciably different between the two types of preparation. In the intact anesthetized rat, the tonic activity produced by the sustained pinch could be strongly depressed by noxious conditioning stimuli applied to various parts of the body for all 10 neurones studied: heating the tail or pinching the contralateral hindpaw, the tail or a forepaw during 30 s each resulted in comparable inhibitions which had mean values in the order of 80% and which were always marked by post-effects lasting for upwards of 30 s. These inhibitory effects have been called Diffuse Noxious Inhibitory Controls (DNIC). In the spinal unanesthetized rat, the tonic activity was depressed to some extent by the same conditioning stimuli, for only 16/34 neurones studied. By comparison with the intact animals these inhibitions were weak, adapted to base-line levels within 30 s and were more marked for conditioning stimuli applied to structures proximal (tail, contralateral hindpaw) to the excitatory receptive field than for stimuli applied more distally (forepaws). The differences between the inhibitions found in the intact and spinal preparations were subsequently confirmed in a series of experiments in which single convergent neurones were studied before and after the pharmacological blocking of the cervical spinal cord in anaesthetized rats. The results in the spinal preparations provide evidence for the existence of some propriospinal modulatory processes, triggered by the onset of noxious stimulation and acting on convergent neurones. These processes appear to be different from those mediating DNIC, which have been shown to involve supraspinal structures, to concern all convergent neurones, to be very potent and associated with long-lasting post-effects whether the conditioning noxious stimuli are applied to parts of the body proximal or distal to the excitatory receptive field.


Brain Res


Brain research


Cadden SW,Villanueva L,Chitour D,Le Bars D




Has Abstract


1983-09-19 00:00:00














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