• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jphysiolThe Journal of Physiology SiteMembershipSubmissionJ Physiol
J Physiol. Aug 1989; 415: 583–599.
PMCID: PMC1189192

Sensations evoked by intraneural microstimulation of C nociceptor fibres in human skin nerves.

Abstract

1. Seventy-one C polymodal nociceptors supplying glabrous and hairy skin in limbs of awake human volunteers were identified on the basis of cutaneous stimulus-response characteristics recorded intraneurally by microneurography (MNG). The large majority of such units were primarily detected during intraneural microstimulation (INMS) on the basis of subjective quality and cutaneous localization of evoked painful sensation. Electrophysiological studies were supplemented with rigorous psychophysical testing during microstimulation delivered at intraneural C recording sites. 2. The conduction velocity of single C nociceptor units could be shown to become transiently slowed following repetitive INMS at threshold intensity for conscious sensation. Such 'marking' witnessed that particular C units, identified by recording, had been effectively activated during INMS and psychophysical testing. 3. Cognitive attributes of sensations evoked from C recording sites by INMS at threshold intensity for perception were estimated psychophysically for subjective quality, temporal attributes and localized projection. There was remarkable matching of physiological unit type (C polymodal nociceptor) with subjective quality of evoked sensation (dull or burning pain). Further, there was remarkable spatial matching of receptive field of given C nociceptors with projected field of the pain sensation evoked from the C recording site by INMS delivered at threshold intensity for conscious sensation. 4. Dissociated A nerve fibre blocks caused by compression-ischaemia did not abolish the sensation of burning pain projected to hairy skin, evoked by INMS delivered at C recording sites. 5. While the double matching of (a) subjective quality and spatial localization with (b) objective physiological unitary type and receptor location, coupled with the results of A blocks, provide evidence that C nociceptor fibres can be fairly selectively activated during INMS, the results also attest that C polymodal nociceptors from human skin evoke delayed dull or burning pain, accurately projected to a defined locus in skin, even after spatial summation is reduced to a minimum.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (2.1M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Chery-Croze S, Duclaux R. Discrimination of painful stimuli in human beings: influence of stimulation area. J Neurophysiol. 1980 Jul;44(1):1–10. [PubMed]
  • Fruhstorfer H, Lindblom U, Schmidt WC. Method for quantitative estimation of thermal thresholds in patients. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1976 Nov;39(11):1071–1075. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hallin RG, Torebjörk HE. Afferent and efferent C units recorded from human skin nerves in situ. A preliminary report. Acta Soc Med Ups. 1970;75(5-6):277–281. [PubMed]
  • Hallin RG, Torebjôrk HE. Methods to differentiate electrically induced afferent and sympathetic C unit responses in human cutaneous nerves. Acta Physiol Scand. 1974 Nov;92(3):318–331. [PubMed]
  • Mackenzie RA, Burke D, Skuse NF, Lethlean AK. Fibre function and perception during cutaneous nerve block. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1975 Sep;38(9):865–873. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nathan PW, Rice RC. The localization of warm stimuli. Neurology. 1966 Jun;16(6):533–540. [PubMed]
  • Price DD, Hu JW, Dubner R, Gracely RH. Peripheral suppression of first pain and central summation of second pain evoked by noxious heat pulses. Pain. 1977 Feb;3(1):57–68. [PubMed]
  • Schady W, Ochoa JL, Torebjörk HE, Chen LS. Peripheral projections of fascicles in the human median nerve. Brain. 1983 Sep;106(Pt 3):745–760. [PubMed]
  • Schady WJ, Torebjörk HE. Projected and receptive fields: a comparison of projected areas of sensations evoked by intraneural stimulation of mechanoreceptive units, and their innervation territories. Acta Physiol Scand. 1983 Nov;119(3):267–275. [PubMed]
  • Schady WJ, Torebjörk HE, Ochoa JL. Peripheral projections of nerve fibres in the human median nerve. Brain Res. 1983 Oct 31;277(2):249–261. [PubMed]
  • Schady WJ, Torebjörk HE, Ochoa JL. Cerebral localisation function from the input of single mechanoreceptive units in man. Acta Physiol Scand. 1983 Nov;119(3):277–285. [PubMed]
  • Torebjörk HE, Hallin RG. C-fibre units recorded from human sensory nerve fascicles in situ. A preliminary report. Acta Soc Med Ups. 1970;75(1-2):81–84. [PubMed]
  • Torebjörk HE, Hallin RG. Perceptual changes accompanying controlled preferential blocking of A and C fibre responses in intact human skin nerves. Exp Brain Res. 1973 Jan 29;16(3):321–332. [PubMed]
  • Torebjörk HE, LaMotte RH, Robinson CJ. Peripheral neural correlates of magnitude of cutaneous pain and hyperalgesia: simultaneous recordings in humans of sensory judgments of pain and evoked responses in nociceptors with C-fibers. J Neurophysiol. 1984 Feb;51(2):325–339. [PubMed]
  • Torebjörk HE, Ochoa JL. Specific sensations evoked by activity in single identified sensory units in man. Acta Physiol Scand. 1980 Dec;110(4):445–447. [PubMed]
  • Torebjörk HE, Ochoa JL, Schady W. Referred pain from intraneural stimulation of muscle fascicles in the median nerve. Pain. 1984 Feb;18(2):145–156. [PubMed]
  • Torebjörk HE, Schady W, Ochoa JL. A new method for demonstration of central effects of analgesic agents in man. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1984 Aug;47(8):862–869. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Torebjörk HE, Vallbo AB, Ochoa JL. Intraneural microstimulation in man. Its relation to specificity of tactile sensations. Brain. 1987 Dec;110(Pt 6):1509–1529. [PubMed]
  • Vallbo AB. Sensations evoked from the glabrous skin of the human hand by electrical stimulation of unitary mechanosensitive afferents. Brain Res. 1981 Jun 29;215(1-2):359–363. [PubMed]
  • Vallbo AB, Hagbarth KE. Activity from skin mechanoreceptors recorded percutaneously in awake human subjects. Exp Neurol. 1968 Jul;21(3):270–289. [PubMed]
  • Vallbo AB, Hagbarth KE, Torebjörk HE, Wallin BG. Somatosensory, proprioceptive, and sympathetic activity in human peripheral nerves. Physiol Rev. 1979 Oct;59(4):919–957. [PubMed]
  • Vallbo AB, Olsson KA, Westberg KG, Clark FJ. Microstimulation of single tactile afferents from the human hand. Sensory attributes related to unit type and properties of receptive fields. Brain. 1984 Sep;107(Pt 3):727–749. [PubMed]
  • Van Hees J, Gybels J. C nociceptor activity in human nerve during painful and non painful skin stimulation. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1981 Jul;44(7):600–607. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from The Journal of Physiology are provided here courtesy of The Physiological Society

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...