Inhibition of Hyperalgesia by Ablation of Lamina I Spinal Neurons Expressing the Substance P Receptor

Science  10 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5336, pp. 275-279
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5336.275

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Substance P is released in the spinal cord in response to painful stimuli, but its role in nociceptive signaling remains unclear. When a conjugate of substance P and the ribosome-inactivating protein saporin was infused into the spinal cord, it was internalized and cytotoxic to lamina I spinal cord neurons that express the substance P receptor. This treatment left responses to mild noxious stimuli unchanged, but markedly attenuated responses to highly noxious stimuli and mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia. Thus, lamina I spinal cord neurons that express the substance P receptor play a pivotal role in the transmission of highly noxious stimuli and the maintenance of hyperalgesia.

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