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Brain Res. 1992 Dec 11;598(1-2):349-52.

Effects of peripheral nerve injuries and tissue inflammation on the levels of neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactivity in rat primary afferent neurons.

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Neurobiology and Anesthesiology Branch, National Institute of Dental Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Changes in neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactivity (NPYir) in the rat L4 and L5 spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were examined after different sciatic nerve injuries (transection, loose ligation, and crush) and a localized, painful inflammation of the hind paw. Inflammation had no effect on NPYir. All the nerve injuries produced comparable increases in NPYir in ipsilateral laminae III-V axons and varicosities, and induction of NPYir in many DRG cells. Most NPYir DRG cells were medium to large (mean diameters: 40-45 microns); less than 2% of the cells had diameters of 25 microns or less. We conclude that the nerve injury-evoked increase in NPYir occurs mostly in the somata and intraspinal arbors of low-threshold mechanoreceptors; very few, if any, C-fiber afferents are involved. Nerve injury, rather than a painful condition, appears to be the stimulus for the induction of NPYir synthesis.

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