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Mol Med Rep. 2018 May;17(5):6691-6696. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2018.8701. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Occurrence of substance P and neurokinin receptors during the early phase of spinal fusion.

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Faculty of Naval Medicine, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, P.R. China.
Department of Orthopaedics, Spinal Section, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200003, P.R. China.
Cadet Brigade, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, P.R. China.
Department of Orthopaedics, The 455 Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army, Shanghai 200052, P.R. China.


Spinal fusion is widely used for patients with spinal disorders; however, patients often suffer from back pain following fusion surgery. Substance P (SP) acts as a pain neurotransmitter via the sensory nerve afferent fibres up to the spinal cord, and is involved in the conduction and modulation of pain. The use of specific SP neurokinin receptor (NKR) antagonists may decrease postoperative pain. In the present study, the effects of alterations in the quantity of SP and NKRs in the early spinal fusion process were investigated. The results of the present study revealed that SP and NKRs began to appear 1 week post‑surgery in fibrous tissues. The abundance of SP and NKRs peaked at 3 weeks post‑surgery; the majority of SP and NKRs were distributed around the allograft and the new microvessels. In conclusion, SP and NKRs are involved in early spinal fusion, a finding that may facilitate the development of novel strategies to promote spinal fusion from a neurogenesis perspective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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