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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2003 Oct 1;192(1):78-85.

Fos expression in rat spinal cord induced by peripheral injection of BmK I, an alpha-like scorpion neurotoxin.

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  • 1The Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, Institute of Physiology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China.


In this paper, the central neuronal activities elicited by BmK I, a specific voltage-gated Na+ channel modulator, were examined by monitoring the c-Fos expression pattern of rat spinal cord. c-Fos protein in laminae I-II, V-VI, and VII-X could be detected at 0.5 h, increased steadily at 1 h, reached a peak at 2 h, and then decreased rapidly from 4 to 24 h after Bmk I was subcutaneously injected into the rat hind paw. However, c-Fos expression in laminae III-IV was activated to a peak at 0.5 h and then declined gradually from 0.5 to 24 h. Furthermore, c-Fos expression could be induced by BmK I in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the increase of c-Fos expression in laminae I-II, V-VI, and VII-X induced by BmK I, and not in laminae III-IV, could be partially inhibited by systemic morphine in a dose-dependent manner. The results suggested that peripheral administration of BmK I could evoke a profound change of spinal neuronal activities manifested as specific patterns of c-Fos expression, which may be partially attributed to the selective modulation of BmK I on voltage-gated Na+ channels located in peripheral nociceptors.

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