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Identification of CNS neural circuitry involved in the innervation of C7 spinal nerve: a viral transsynaptic tracing study.

Chin J Traumatol. 2011 Oct 1;14(5):259-63

Authors: Wei HF, Chen L, Gu YD

Objective: Contralateral C7 spinal nerve transfer is a useful operation for the treatment of brachial plexus root avulsion. The recovery of the independent function at the ipsilateral side, however, depends on neural circuitry reorganization in the central nervous system (CNS). This study tried to locate the CNS neuronal elements involved in the innervation of C7 spinal nerve. Method: Pseudorabies virus (PRV, TK/gG(-), 2 microlitre), which expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP), was injected into the left C7 spinal nerve in 20 adult Sprague Dawley rats. After rats survived for 6 h, 12 h, 24 h and 36 h, the C1-C7 segments of the spinal cord and brain were processed using a polyclonal immunohistochemical antibody against PRV. Results: PRV-labeled neurons were found mainly in gray matter of the C1-C7 segments of the spinal cord and at the following structures of the brain: lateral vestibular nucleus, lateral paragigantocellular nucleus, A5 cells, red nucleus, primary and secondary motor cortexes, primary and secondary somatosensory cortexes. Although located bilaterally, the PRV-labeled neurons existed predominantly in the ipsilateral side of the spinal cord and the contralateral side of the brain at 6-12 h after injection (p.i.). The number of PRV-labeled neurons in the CNS was increasing with rat’s survival time and the distribution of these neurons turned bilateral with no obvious dominance to either side at 24 h and 36 h (p.i.). Conclusion: By use of transsynaptic tracing technique with PRV, the anatomically connected set of neurons, which modulates the activity of C7 spinal nerve, is located successfully in the CNS.

PMID: 22118478 [PubMed – in process]

Oxytocin inhibits the membrane depolarization-induced increase in intracellular calcium in capsaicin sensitive sensory neurons: a peripheral mechanism of analgesic action.

Anesth Analg. 2012 Feb;114(2):442-9

Authors: Hobo S, Hayashida K, Eisenach JC

BACKGROUND: Lumbar intrathecal injection of oxytocin produces antinociception in rats and analgesia in humans. Classically, oxytocin receptors couple to stimulatory G proteins, increase inositol-3-phosphate production, and result in neuronal excitation. Most work to date has focused on a spinal site of oxytocin to excite ?-aminobutyric acid interneurons to produce analgesia. Here we ask whether oxytocin might also affect primary sensory afferents by modulating high voltage-gated calcium channels, such as it does in the brain.
METHODS: Dorsal root ganglion cells from adult rats were acutely dissociated and cultured, and changes in intracellular calcium determined by fluorescent microscopy using an indicator dye. The effects of oxytocin alone and in the presence of transient depolarization from increased extracellular KCl concentration were determined, and the pharmacology of these effects were studied. Cells from injured dorsal root ganglion cells after spinal nerve ligation were also studied.
RESULTS: Oxytocin produced a concentration-dependent inhibition of the increase in intracellular calcium from membrane depolarization, an effect blocked more efficiently by oxytocin- than vasopressin-receptor selective antagonists. Oxytocin-induced inhibition was present in cells responding to capsaicin, and when internal stores of calcium were depleted with thapsigargin. Oxytocin produced similar inhibition in cells from animals with spinal nerve ligation.
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that oxytocin produces antinociception after intrathecal delivery in part by reducing excitatory neurotransmitter release from the central terminals of nociceptors.

PMID: 22104073 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

[Effects and mechanisms of osthole on sciatica induced by lumber disc herniation].

Zhong Yao Cai. 2011 May;34(5):746-50

Authors: Wei M, Zhang JJ, He QL, Wang L, Ren ZH, Sun LB, Liu XG

OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of osthole on sciatica induced by lumber disc herniation and its mechanisms.
METHODS: 54 male SD rats were randomly divided into 6 groups. Model (M) group (n = 12): Autologous nucleus pulposus was harvested from the tail and applied to the L5 dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and epidural space. Epidural catheterization was performed. Control(C) group (n = 12): On the basis of nucleus pulposus group, 50 microL tween-80 was administered epidurally on the day 6th after surgery. T2 (n = 6), T6 (n = 12), T13 (n = 6) and T20 (n = 6) group: 50 microL 2% osthole was administered epidurally on the 2th, 6th, 13th day and 20th after surgery respectively. General behaviors were observed and 50% paw withdrawal threshold (50% PWT) was measured 1 day before surgery, on the 1st, 3th, 7th,14th, 21th, 28th day after surgery, immediately before and 1 hour after osthole or tween-80 administration in each group. On the 7th day after surgery, the left L5 DRGs were obtained for detecting the expression of NOS and COX-2 in M, C and T6 group with 6 rats.
RESULTS: No lameness or autophagy was oberserved. 50% PWT decreased after surgery (P < 0.05). In T2 and T6 group, 50% PWT after osthole administration were significantly higher than those of M group and C group (P < 0.05), which recovered to the same level as 1 day before surgery (P > 0.05). In T13 and T20 group, 50% PWT 1 hour after osthole administration were significantly higher than those of M group and C group (P < 0.05), which recovered to the same level as 1 day before surgery (P > 0.05), but on days after 1 hour after administration, there was no significant difference when 50% PWT compared with M group or nucleus C group (P > 0.05). NOS positive cells and COX-2 positive cells were no significant difference when M group compared with C group (P > 0.05). But these positive cells in T6 group were significantly lower than those of M group and C group (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: 50 microL 2% osthole could completely inhibit the mechanical allodynia in the rat model of sciatica induced by lumbar disc herniation when it was administered epidurally on 2 or 6 day after surgery. But when administered on 13 or 20 day after surgery, its analgesic effect was transient. The effect of 50 microL 2% osthole epidural administration on day 6 after surgery on the rat model of sciatica induced by lumbar disc herniation may relate to inhibition of the expression of COX-2 and NOS in DRG.

PMID: 21954563 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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