Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Res. 1999 Oct 30;846(1):72-86.

Inhibitory effects from various types of dorsal column and raphe magnus stimulations on nociceptive withdrawal flexion reflexes.

Author information

Department of Human Morphology, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.


Most of the clinical and research reports agree about the analgesic effects of dorsal column (DC) stimulation, but there is no unanimity about the neural mechanisms involved in this stimulation. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of segmental and rostral activation of the DCs and to investigate whether these effects are mediated through a brainstem spinal loop. Decerebrate-decerebellate cats were subjected to selective DC lesions at C(1) and C(3) spinal cervical levels and their reflex reactions to natural or electrical nociceptive stimuli were monitored either as withdrawal flexion reflexes or as motorneuronal discharges. Conditioning stimulation was performed as train of shocks (100 Hz, for 1 to 10 min or 300 Hz for 30 ms) applied on the DCs either rostral (DCr) or caudal (DCc) to the spinal lesions or on the raphe magnus (RM). Conditioning trains for 5-10 min applied on DCr inhibited the withdrawal flexion reflexes recorded as toe flexion (90% of the control). Comparisons of the effects of DCr, DCc or RM of conditioning stimuli were made on the discharges of 110 motorneurons recorded in isolated ventral root fibers. Conditioning stimulation applied to DCc produced short lived inhibition (in about 60%) or facilitation (in about 30% of the neurons) while DCr or RM conditioning produced inhibition in 90% of neurons which outlasted the duration of the conditioning trains. It was also shown that repetitive application of conditioning train on either DCr or RM resulted in longer duration of inhibition than that observed following DCc conditioning. We conclude that the stronger inhibition of motorneuronal discharges, evoked by nociceptive stimuli, is obtained by rostral activation of the DCs and that long term effects of DCst are mediated through a DC-brainstem-spinal loop.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center