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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)
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)
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)
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)
Spontaneous activity is known to be essential for the proper formation of sensory networks in the developing CNS. This activity can be produced by a variety of mechanisms including the presence of "pacemaker" neurons, which can be defined by their intrinsic ability to generate rhythmic bursts of action potential discharge. Recent work has identified(More)
Superficial dorsal horn neurones undergo marked structural and functional activity-dependent development during the early postnatal period, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes. Calcium signalling, through activation and autophosphorylation of CaMKII, has been shown to play a major role in the maturation of neuronal(More)