Yves De Koninck

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Neuropathic pain that occurs after peripheral nerve injury depends on the hyperexcitability of neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Spinal microglia stimulated by ATP contribute to tactile allodynia, a highly debilitating symptom of pain induced by nerve injury. Signalling between microglia and neurons is therefore an essential link in neuropathic(More)
Modern pain-control theory predicts that a loss of inhibition (disinhibition) in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord is a crucial substrate for chronic pain syndromes. However, the nature of the mechanisms that underlie such disinhibition has remained controversial. Here we present evidence for a novel mechanism of disinhibition following peripheral nerve(More)
Neuropathic pain resulting from damage to or dysfunction of peripheral nerves is not well understood and difficult to treat. Although CNS hyperexcitability is a critical component, recent findings challenge the neuron-centric view of neuropathic pain etiology and pathology. Indeed, glial cells were shown to play an active role in the initiation and(More)
During wakefulness, pyramidal neurons in the intact brain are bombarded by synaptic input that causes tonic depolarization, increased membrane conductance (i.e., shunting), and noisy fluctuations in membrane potential; by comparison, pyramidal neurons in acute slices typically experience little background input. Such differences in operating conditions can(More)
The membrane conductance of a pyramidal neuron in vivo is substantially increased by background synaptic input. Increased membrane conductance, or shunting, does not simply reduce neuronal excitability. Recordings from hippocampal pyramidal neurons using dynamic clamp revealed that adaptation caused complete cessation of spiking in the high conductance(More)
Lamina I of the spinal dorsal horn plays an important role in the processing and relay of nociceptive information. Signal processing depends, in part, on neuronal membrane properties. Intrinsic membrane properties of lamina I neurons were therefore investigated using whole cell patch clamp recordings in a slice preparation of adult rat spinal cord. Based on(More)
The K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter KCC2 is responsible for maintaining low Cl(-) concentration in neurons of the central nervous system (CNS), which is essential for postsynaptic inhibition through GABA(A) and glycine receptors. Although no CNS disorders have been associated with KCC2 mutations, loss of activity of this transporter has emerged as a key mechanism(More)
BACKGROUND Disinhibition of neurons in the superficial spinal dorsal horn, via microglia - neuron signaling leading to disruption of chloride homeostasis, is a potential cellular substrate for neuropathic pain. But, a central unresolved question is whether this disinhibition can transform the activity and responses of spinal nociceptive output neurons to(More)
Local inhibitory interneurons in the dorsal horn play an important role in the control of excitability at the segmental level and thus determine how nociceptive information is relayed to higher structures. Regulation of inhibitory interneuron activity may therefore have critical consequences on pain perception. Indeed, disinhibition of dorsal horn neuronal(More)
We report a novel model in which remote activation of peripheral nociceptive pathways in transgenic mice is achieved optogenetically, without any external noxious stimulus or injury. Taking advantage of a binary genetic approach, we selectively targeted Nav1.8(+) sensory neurons for conditional expression of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) channels. Acute blue(More)