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Neuroscience. 2017 Jul 4;355:212-224. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.04.045. Epub 2017 May 10.

Intracortical signal processing of periodontal ligament sensations in rat.

Author information

1
Division of Orthodontics, Department of Human Development and Fostering, Meikai University School of Dentistry, 1-1 Sakado, Keyaki-dai, Saitama 350-0283, Japan.
2
Division of Physiology, Department of Human Development and Fostering, Meikai University School of Dentistry, 1-1 Sakado, Keyaki-dai, Saitama 350-0283, Japan. Electronic address: naoko-m@dent.meikai.ac.jp.
3
Department of Pharmacology, Nihon University School of Dentistry, 1-8-13 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8310, Japan; Division of Oral and Craniomaxillofacial Research, Dental Research Center, Nihon University School of Dentistry, 1-8-13 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8310, Japan; Molecular Imaging Research Center, RIKEN, 6-7-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0047, Japan.
4
Division of Physiology, Department of Human Development and Fostering, Meikai University School of Dentistry, 1-1 Sakado, Keyaki-dai, Saitama 350-0283, Japan.

Abstract

The somatosensory information from the orofacial region, including the periodontal ligament (PDL), is processed in a manner that differs from that used for other body somatosensory information in the related cortices. It was reported that electrical stimulation to rat PDL elicited activation of the insular oral region (IOR) and the primary (S1) and secondary (S2) somatosensory cortices. However, the physiological relationship between S1 and S2/IOR is not well understood. To address this issue, we performed in vivo optical imaging using a voltage-sensitive dye. Our results demonstrated that the electrical stimulation to the PDL of the mandibular incisor evoked the simultaneous activation of S1 and the S2/IOR. The stimulation to the initial response area of the S1 evoked responses in the S2/IOR, and vice versa. An injection of tetrodotoxin (TTX) to the cortical region between S1 and S2/IOR attenuated such elicited responses only in the non-stimulated cortical partner site. The cortico-cortical interaction between S1 and S2/IOR was suppressed by the application of TTX, indicating that these two cortical regions bi-directionally communicate the signal processing of PDL sensations. An injection of FluoroGold™ (FG) to the initial response area in S1 or the S2/IOR showed that FG-positive cells were scattered in the non-injected cortical counterpart. This morphological result demonstrated the presence of a bi-directional intracortical connection between the initial response areas in S1 and the S2/IOR. These findings suggest the presence of a mutual connection between S1 and the S2/IOR as an intracortical signal processing network for orofacial nociception.

KEYWORDS:

electric stimulation; insular cortex; optical imaging; rats; somatosensory cortex; voltage-sensitive dye imaging

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