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Cell Rep. 2016 Nov 1;17(6):1699-1710. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.10.010.

In Vivo Interrogation of Spinal Mechanosensory Circuits.

Author information

1
Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
2
Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
3
Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
4
Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
5
Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Stanford Neurosciences Institute, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address: gs25@stanford.edu.
6
Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address: delp@stanford.edu.

Abstract

Spinal dorsal horn circuits receive, process, and transmit somatosensory information. To understand how specific components of these circuits contribute to behavior, it is critical to be able to directly modulate their activity in unanesthetized in vivo conditions. Here, we develop experimental tools that enable optogenetic control of spinal circuitry in freely moving mice using commonly available materials. We use these tools to examine mechanosensory processing in the spinal cord and observe that optogenetic activation of somatostatin-positive interneurons facilitates both mechanosensory and itch-related behavior, while reversible chemogenetic inhibition of these neurons suppresses mechanosensation. These results extend recent findings regarding the processing of mechanosensory information in the spinal cord and indicate the potential for activity-induced release of the somatostatin neuropeptide to affect processing of itch. The spinal implant approach we describe here is likely to enable a wide range of studies to elucidate spinal circuits underlying pain, touch, itch, and movement.

KEYWORDS:

itch; nociception; optogenetics; somatostatin; spinal cord; touch

PMID:
27806306
PMCID:
PMC5507199
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2016.10.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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