Neurochemistry of superficial spinal neurones projecting to nucleus of the solitary tract that express c-fos on chemical somatic and visceral nociceptive input in the rat

Filomena O. Gamboa-Esteves, Deolinda Lima, Trevor F C Batten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have investigated the presence of three neurochemical markers, glutamate, calbindin-D28k, and nitric oxide synthase, in spinal neurones that transmit chemical noxious inputs from both the skin and the viscera, by combining retrograde labelling with the fluorescent tracer Fluorogold with dual labelling immunohistochemistry. Neurones projecting to the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) that expressed Fos protein in response to cutaneous or visceral noxious stimulation were concentrated in lamina I of the cervical and lumbosacral segments, respectively. Although both labelled neuronal populations were numerous, the spino-solitary cells that transmit visceral nociceptive input predominated over those transmitting cutaneous nociceptive input. Calbindin-D28k-immunoreactivity was observed in neurones of three morphological types (fusiform, flattened, and pyramidal) projecting to the NTS that were activated by somatic or visceral nociceptive neurones. Nitric oxide synthase and glutamate immunoreactivities were present only in viscerally activated nociceptive neurones projecting to the NTS. Glutamate-immunopositive NTS-projecting cells were exclusively of the flattened type, and the nitric oxide synthase-immunolabelled NTS-projecting cells comprised 75% fusiform cells and 25% flattened cells. These data suggest that the involvement of excitatory spinal lamina I projection neurones in the transmission of peripheral chemical nociceptive inputs to the NTS may be restricted to information of visceral origin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-164
Number of pages14
JournalMetabolic Brain Disease
Volume16
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Calbindin-D28k
  • Dorsal horn
  • Glutamate
  • Medulla oblongata
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Nociception
  • Retrograde labelling

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