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J Physiol. 2012 Aug 15;590(Pt 16):3927-51. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.235655. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Morphological, neurochemical and electrophysiological features of parvalbumin-expressing cells: a likely source of axo-axonic inputs in the mouse spinal dorsal horn.

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  • 1School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia. david.i.hughes@glasgow.ac.uk

Abstract

Perception of normal bodily sensations relies on the precise regulation of sensory information entering the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Inhibitory, axoaxonic, synapses provide a mechanism for this regulation, but the source of these important inhibitory connections remains to be elucidated. This study shows that a subpopulation of spinal interneurons that expresses parvalbumin and have specific morphological, connectivity and functional characteristics are a likely source of the inhibitory inputs that selectivity regulate non-noxious tactile input in the spinal cord. Our findings suggest that a loss of normal function in parvalbumin positive dorsal horn neurons may result in the development of tactile allodynia, where non-painful stimuli gain the capacity to evoke the sensation of pain.

PMID:
22674718
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3476641
Free PMC Article
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