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Neurosci Lett. 1992 Jul 6;141(1):79-83.

Excitatory amino acid binding sites in the trigeminal principal sensory and spinal trigeminal nuclei of the rat.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Biology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul.


Quantitative autoradiography was used to examine the density and distribution of excitatory amino acid (EAA) binding site subtypes in the principal sensory and spinal trigeminal nuclei of the rat trigeminal complex. The highest densities of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA), kainate and metabotropic receptors were found in the superficial laminae (I and II) of subnucleus caudalis, a region known to be densely innervated by primary afferent nociceptive terminals. Lower densities of EAA binding sites were observed in spinal subnuclei interpolaris and oralis and within the principal sensory nucleus. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that EAAs are involved in primary afferent nociceptive neurotransmission.

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