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Mol Pain. 2010 Feb 3;6:9. doi: 10.1186/1744-8069-6-9.

Alteration of primary afferent activity following inferior alveolar nerve transection in rats.

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Department of Dysphagia Rehabilitation, Nihon University School of Dentistry, 1-8-13 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-8310, Japan.



In order to evaluate the neural mechanisms underlying the abnormal facial pain that may develop following regeneration of the injured inferior alveolar nerve (IAN), the properties of the IAN innervated in the mental region were analyzed.


Fluorogold (FG) injection into the mental region 14 days after IAN transection showed massive labeling of trigeminal ganglion (TG). The escape threshold to mechanical stimulation of the mental skin was significantly lower (i.e. mechanical allodynia) at 11-14 days after IAN transection than before surgery. The background activity, mechanically evoked responses and afterdischarges of IAN Adelta-fibers were significantly higher in IAN-transected rats than naive. The small/medium diameter TG neurons showed an increase in both tetrodotoxin (TTX)-resistant (TTX-R) and -sensitive (TTX-S) sodium currents (INa) and decrease in total potassium current, transient current (IA) and sustained current (IK) in IAN-transected rats. The amplitude, overshoot amplitude and number of action potentials evoked by the depolarizing pulses after 1 muM TTX administration in TG neurons were significantly higher, whereas the threshold current to elicit spikes was smaller in IAN-transected rats than naive. Resting membrane potential was significantly smaller in IAN-transected rats than that of naive.


These data suggest that the increase in both TTX-S INa and TTX-R INa and the decrease in IA and Ik in small/medium TG neurons in IAN-transected rats are involved in the activation of spike generation, resulting in hyperexcitability of Adelta-IAN fibers innervating the mental region after IAN transection.

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