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Eur J Pain. 2011 Sep;15(8):810-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpain.2011.01.007. Epub 2011 Feb 16.

Nociceptive input from the rat thoracolumbar fascia to lumbar dorsal horn neurones.

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Department of Neurophysiology, Centre for Biomedicine and Medical Technology Mannheim, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.


In anaesthetised rats, systematic electrophysiological recordings from dorsal horn neurones in spinal segments Th13-L5 were made to obtain information about the spinal nociceptive processing from the lumbar thoracolumbar fascia. Six to fourteen percent of the neurones in the spinal segments Th13-L2 had nociceptive input from the thoracolumbar fascia in naïve animals, no neurones responsive to input from the lumbar fascia were found in segments L3-L5. The segmental location of the receptive fields in the fascia was shifted 2-4 segments caudally relative to the spinal segment recorded from. Most neurones were convergent in that they received additional input from other deep somatic tissues in the low back (87%) and from the skin in the abdominal wall or the proximal leg (50%). The proportion of neurones responsive to input from the thoracolumbar fascia rose significantly from 4% to 15% (P<0.05) in animals with an experimentally-induced inflammation of a low back muscle (multifidus). Moreover, neurones in spinal segment L3 - that did not receive input from the fascia in normal animals - responded to fascia input in animals with inflamed muscle. The data suggest that the nociceptive input from the thoracolumbar fascia contributes to the pain in low back pain patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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