Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Neurosci. 2001 Feb 1;21(3):1039-46.

The NK1 receptor is essential for the full expression of noxious inhibitory controls in the mouse.

Author information

Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.


Behavioral analysis of the NK1 receptor gene knock-out (NK1-/-) mouse indicated that substance P was closely involved in orchestrating the physiological and behavioral response of the animal to major environmental stressors. In particular, endogenous pain control mechanisms, such as stress-induced analgesia were substantially impaired in mutant mice, suggesting a reduction in descending inhibitory controls to the spinal cord from the brainstem. To directly test the integrity of descending controls in NK1-/- mice, we have analyzed c-Fos expression in laminae I-II of the lumbar and cervical cord and in the rostral ventromedial medulla in an experimental paradigm known to require recruitment of descending inhibitory controls. Anesthetized mice were stimulated with water at 50 degrees C either on their forepaw, hindpaw, or on both the hindpaw plus forepaw concurrently. Wild-type mice, naive or treated with an NK1 antagonist (RP67580) or its inactive isomer (RP68651), were compared with NK1-/- mice. C-Fos expression at the lumbar laminae I-II level was significantly reduced, whereas it was significantly greater in the raphe magnus and pallidus nuclei in the double stimulation situation in wild-type compared with NK1-/- mice. Blocking the NK1 receptor pharmacologically reproduced, in an enantiomere-selective manner, the data from NK1-/- mice, with no evidence for recruitment of descending inhibition at the lumbar cord level after forepaw stimulation. The present study demonstrates that the NK1 receptor is essential for the full development of noxiously evoked descending inhibition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center