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Targeting inhibitory neurons in the superficial dorsal horn: Somatostatin-saporin

Chatterjee K, Lemons LL, Wiley RG (2010) Targeting inhibitory neurons in the superficial dorsal horn: Somatostatin-saporin. Neuroscience 2010 Abstracts 585.1/XX15. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.

Summary: Intrathecal injection of somatostatin (SST), or the long-acting congener, octreotide, have been reported analgesic in humans with intractable pain. The principal SST receptor, sst2a, is expressed by GABAergic neurons in the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord. In the present study, we sought to determine the nocifensive behavioral effects of selectively destroying sst2a-expressing dorsal horn neurons using intrathecal injection of the targeted toxin, SST-saporin. SST-sap (500-625 ng) was injected intrathecally into rats followed by thermal plate and thermal preference shuttle box testing for up to three weeks. One of three rats injected with 625 ng of SST-sap developed severe persistent scratching of its lower body. Compared to vehicle controls and rats injected with 500 ng of corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF)-saporin, the SST-sap rats showed initially prolonged latencies and decreased nocifensive reflex responses on the 44 C hotplate that persisted for up to 17 days before returning to control levels. SST-sap rats also showed decreased reflex responses on the 0.3 C cold plate. Lastly, SST-sap rats showed no change in thermal preference in a shuttle box with floor temperatures of 15 C vs 45 C. CRF-sap rats showed delayed onset (after 8 days) of decreased hotplate responding and increased hot side occupancy in the thermal preference shuttle box. These results suggest, at the doses used, that SST-sap produced incomplete depletion of target neurons followed by compensatory plasticity, whereas, CRF-sap produced no primary effect but induced secondary plasticity resulting in long term decrease in responses to aversive heat. Higher dose studies and anatomic analysis of lesions produced by these agents are planned.

Related Products: CRF-SAP (Cat. #IT-13)

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