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Neuroscience. 2000;98(2):201-6.

Expression of PSD-95/SAP90 is critical for N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated thermal hyperalgesia in the spinal cord.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Blalock 1415, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287-4965, USA.


PSD-95/SAP90, a molecular scaffold protein, attaches the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor to cellular signaling pathways through PSD-95/DLG/Z0-1 domain interactions at neuronal synapses.(5,9) This suggests that PSD-95/SAP90 might be involved in many physiological and pathophysiological actions triggered via the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in the central nervous system. Here, we present evidence that suppression of the expression of PSD-95/SAP90 in the spinal cord significantly attenuated facilitation of the tail-flick reflex triggered through N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation but not baseline tail-flick reflex latency. Moreover, PSD-95/SAP90's messenger RNA and protein were enriched in the spinal cord and selectively distributed in the superficial dorsal horn, where PSD-95/SAP90 overlapped with the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor. In spinal cord neurons, PSD-95/SAP90 interacted with the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits 2A/2B. It is indicated that activation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in spinal hyperalgesia results in association of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor with PSD-95/SAP90 and that PSD-95/SAP90 is required for noxious thermal hyperalgesia triggered via the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor at the spinal cord level. The present findings may provide novel insights into the mechanisms for persistent sensitization of the somatosensory system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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