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Cutaneous spinal sensory transmission appears to lack inhibitory control in the newborn spinal cord, but the properties of GABAergic and glycinergic synapses in the neonatal dorsal horn have not been characterized. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from rat superficial dorsal horn neurons in spinal cord slices at postnatal day 0 (P0) to P2, P6-P7, and(More)
To study the postnatal development of nociceptive synaptic inputs in the superficial dorsal horn of the neonatal rat spinal cord, we examined the effect of capsaicin and menthol on glutamatergic mEPSCs in postnatal day (P) 0-1, P5-6 and P9-11 slices of spinal cord. Capsaicin (100 nM to 2 microM) increased the mEPSC frequency in a concentration-dependent(More)
Neonatal nociceptive circuits and dorsal horn cells are characterized by an apparent lack of inhibitory control: receptive fields are large and thresholds low in the first weeks of life. It has been suggested that this may reflect immature GABA(A)-receptor (GABA(A)R) signaling whereby an early developmental shift in transmembrane anion gradient is followed(More)
Tissue injury during a critical period of early life can facilitate spontaneous glutamatergic transmission within developing pain circuits in the superficial dorsal horn (SDH) of the spinal cord. However, the extent to which neonatal tissue damage strengthens nociceptive synaptic input to specific subpopulations of SDH neurons, as well as the mechanisms(More)
The effect of sciatic nerve injury on the somatic expression of voltage-gated calcium currents in adult rat cutaneous afferent dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons identified via retrograde Fluoro-gold labeling was studied using whole cell patch-clamp techniques. Two weeks after a unilateral ligation and transection of the sciatic nerve, the L(4)-L(5) DRG(More)
Tissue injury during a critical period of early postnatal development can alter pain sensitivity throughout life. However, the degree to which neonatal tissue damage exerts prolonged effects on synaptic signaling within adult spinal nociceptive circuits remains unknown. Here we provide evidence that a transient surgical injury of the hind paw during the(More)
Tissue injury in early life can produce distinctive effects on pain processing, but little is known about the underlying neural mechanisms. Neonatal inflammation modulates excitatory synapses in spinal nociceptive circuits, but it is unclear whether this results directly from altered afferent input. Here we investigate excitatory and inhibitory synaptic(More)
BACKGROUND Little is known about whether peripheral nerve injury during the early postnatal period modulates synaptic efficacy in the immature superficial dorsal horn (SDH) of the spinal cord, or whether the neonatal SDH network is sensitive to the proinflammatory cytokine TNFalpha under neuropathic conditions. Thus we examined the effects of TNFalpha on(More)
Neonatal superficial dorsal horn neurons exhibit distinct firing properties in response to nociceptive and tactile inputs, but it is not known whether the intrinsic membrane excitability of these neurons changes during the early postnatal period. We have investigated the evoked firing properties of dorsal horn cells in rat spinal cord slices at different(More)
Spontaneous activity driven by "pacemaker" neurons, defined by their intrinsic ability to generate rhythmic burst firing, contributes to the development of sensory circuits in many regions of the immature CNS. However, it is unknown whether pacemaker-like neurons are present within central pain pathways in the neonate. Here, we provide evidence that a(More)