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Neuroreport. 1995 Jul 31;6(11):1578-82.

Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on capsaicin-sensitive nerves.

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Department of Physiology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


To study the density of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on primary afferents and central nociceptive pathways, [3H](-)-nicotine binding was conducted in the cerebral cortex and spinal cord including dorsal roots and ganglia (DRG), of control rats and rats desensitized by neonatal capsaicin treatment. [3H](-)-nicotine binding in capsaicin-treated rats was reduced in cerebral cortex by 35% and spinal cord+DRG by 46% (p < 0.05). Functionally, both iontophoretically applied acetylcholine- and capsaicin-evoked flares (measured by laser Doppler flowmetry) were reduced in capsaicin-treated animals (p < 0.05); similarly, electrical stimulation-evoked flares were significantly lower in the same group, compared with controls (p < 0.05). These data provide direct evidence that many neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are associated with capsaicin-sensitive peptidergic neurones, including primary afferents, DRG and central nociceptive pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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