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Brain Res. 1979 May 25;168(2):247-59.

Substance P: depletion in the dorsal horn of rat spinal cord after section of the peripheral processes of primary sensory neurons.

Abstract

The substance P content, glutamic acid decarboxylase and choline acetyltransferase activities and the level of [3H]diprenorphine binding were measured in various regions of the lumbar spinal cord of rats after unilateral section of the sciatic nerve or after dorsal rhizotomy. Sciatic nerve section produced a 75--80% depletion of substance P in the dorsal horn but did not change the substance P content of the ventral horn. The onset of substance P depletion occurred within 7 days and was maintained for 2 months. The substance P content of the dorsal root ganglia and both the peripheral and central branches of primary sensory neurons was also reduced after sciatic nerve section. Glutamic acid decarboxylase and choline acetyltransferase activity were unchanged; however, a small decrease in opiate receptor binding occurred 1 month after nerve section. Dorsal rhizotomy produced an 80% depletion of substance P in the dorsal horn. In addition, the substance P content of the ventral horn was significantly reduced. Glutamic acid decarboxylase activity in the dorsal horn was unaffected by dorsal rhizotomy whereas opiate receptor binding was reduced by 40%. From these studies it appears that peripheral nerve injury results in the degeneration of primary sensory neurons which contain and release substance P as neurotransmitter.

PMID:
221070
DOI:
10.1016/0006-8993(79)90167-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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