Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Physiol. 1999 Mar 1;515 ( Pt 2):533-42.

Expression of alpha2-adrenergic receptors in rat primary afferent neurones after peripheral nerve injury or inflammation.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7545, USA.


1. Immunocytochemistry with polyclonal antibodies directed against specific fragments of intracellular loops of alpha2A- and alpha2C-adrenergic receptors (alpha2A-AR, alpha2C-AR) was used to explore the possibility that expression of these receptors in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurones of rat alters as a result of peripheral nerve injury or localized inflammation. 2. Small numbers of neurones with positive alpha2A-AR immunoreactivity (alpha2A-AR-IR) were detected in DRG from normal animals or contralateral to nerve lesions. In contrast, after complete or partial sciatic nerve transection the numbers of ipsilateral L4 and L5 DRG somata expressing alpha2A-AR-IR sharply increased (>5-fold). There was no discernible change in the number of DRG neurones exhibiting alpha2A-AR-IR innervating a region in association with localized chemically induced inflammation. 3. After nerve injury, double labelling with Fluoro-Gold, a marker of retrograde transport from transected fibres, or by immunoreactivity for c-jun protein, an indicator of injury and regeneration, suggested that many of the neurones expressing alpha2A-AR-IR were uninjured by the sciatic lesions. 4. In general the largest proportionate increase in numbers of neurones labelled by alpha2A-AR-IR after nerve lesions appeared in the medium-large diameter range (31-40 microm), a group principally composed of cell bodies of low threshold mechanoreceptors. The number of small diameter DRG neurones labelled by alpha2A-AR-IR, a category likely to include somata of nociceptors, also increased but proportionately less. 5. Relatively few DRG neurones exhibited alpha2C-AR-IR; this population did not appear to change after either nerve lesions or inflammation. 6. These observations are considered in relation to effects of nerve injury on excitation of primary afferent neurones by sympathetic activity or adrenergic agents, sympathetically related neuropathy and reports of sprouting of sympathetic fibres in DRG.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center