Wiley RG, Kline IV RH, Lappi DA (2001) Dose-dependent effects of intrathecal substance P-saporin and SSP-saporin. Neuroscience 2001 Abstracts 281.11. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.
Summary: Selective destruction of lamina I dorsal horn neurons expressing the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R) can attenuate responses to capsaicin injection and thermal hyperalgesia/mechanical allodynia in models of inflammatory, persistent or neuropathic pain. In the present study, we sought to determine the relationships between spinal intrathecal dose of substance P-saporin or the related toxin, SSP-saporin, the loss of NK-1R neurons and reduction of phase II formalin responses. Rats were injected intrathecally with 10 ul of either vehicle, 175 ng, 350 ng or 700 ng of SP-sap. Others were injected with either vehicle, 25 ng, 50 ng or 100 ng of SSP-sap. After 2 weeks, nocifensive behavior was scored for 90 min after a unilateral hindpaw injection of dilute formaldehyde. The amount of phase II nocifensive behavior from 20-90 min post injection was totaled for each animal. Rats were sacrificed and transverse lumbosacral spinal cord sections were stained for NK-1R using indirect immunoperoxidase technique. Digital micrographs of the superficial dorsal horn were captured and the number of pixels in the darkest intensity values were expressed as percent of the analysis area for each dorsal horn. Significant correlations were noted for dose vs dark pixel percentage and for dark pixel percentage vs phase II formalin behavior. The greater the toxin dose the greater the loss of NK-1R staining and the greater the attenuation of phase II formalin behavior. These results indicate that the toxin effects on pain behavior are proportional to the degree of loss of lamina I NK-1R expressing neurons.
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