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Treatment of neuropathic pain, triggered by multiple insults to the nervous system, is a clinical challenge because the underlying mechanisms of neuropathic pain development remain poorly understood. Most treatments do not differentiate between different phases of neuropathic pain pathophysiology and simply focus on blocking neurotransmission, producing(More)
Cannabinoids act on various regions in the nervous system to modulate neuronal activity including nociception. Here, we investigated CB1 receptor expression in primary afferent neurons in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and the efficacy of a local (intraplantar) application of the selective CB1 agonist, 2-arachidonyl-2-chloroethylamide (ACEA), on(More)
Central sensitization, increased sensitivity in spinal cord dorsal horn neurons after injuries, plays an essential role in the induction and maintenance of chronic pain. However, synaptic mechanisms underlying central sensitization are incompletely known. Growing evidence suggests that proinflammatory cytokines (PICs), such as interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta),(More)
Molecular mechanisms underlying C-fiber stimulation-induced ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase) activation in dorsal horn neurons and its contribution to central sensitization have been investigated. In adult rat spinal slice preparations, activation of C-fiber primary afferents by a brief exposure of capsaicin produces an eightfold to 10-fold(More)
Accumulating evidence suggests that microglial cells in the spinal cord play an important role in the development of neuropathic pain. However, it remains largely unknown how glia interact with neurons in the spinal cord after peripheral nerve injury. Recent studies suggest that the chemokine fractalkine may mediate neural/microglial interaction via its(More)
Although pain is regarded traditionally as neuronally mediated, recent progress shows an important role of spinal glial cells in persistent pain sensitization. Mounting evidence has implicated spinal microglia in the development of chronic pain (e.g. neuropathic pain after peripheral nerve injury). Less is known about the role of astrocytes in pain(More)
BACKGROUND Current evidence indicates that p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation in spinal microglia contributes to the development of neuropathic pain. However, how nerve injury activates p38 in spinal microglia is incompletely unknown. Nerve injury-induced ectopic spontaneous activity is essential for the generation of neuropathic pain. The(More)
BACKGROUND Although intrathecal administration of norepinephrine is known to produce analgesia, cellular mechanisms for this action have not yet been fully understood. METHODS The actions of norepinephrine (50 microm) on glutamatergic transmission were examined by using the whole cell patch clamp technique in substantia gelatinosa neurons of an adult rat(More)
The neuropeptide substance P (SP) is expressed in unmyelinated primary sensory neurons and represents the best known "pain" neurotransmitter. It is generally believed that SP regulates pain transmission and sensitization by acting on neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1), which is expressed in postsynaptic dorsal horn neurons. However, the expression and role of(More)
The spinal dorsal horn exhibits a high degree of intrinsic connectivity that is critical to its role in the processing of nociceptive information. To examine the spatial organization of this intrinsic connectivity, we used laser-scanning photostimulation in parasagittal and transverse slices of lumbar spinal cord to stimulate presynaptic neurons by(More)