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Neuroscience. 1993 Feb;52(4):1029-37.

The role of neurokinin and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in synaptic transmission from capsaicin-sensitive primary afferents in the rat spinal cord in vitro.

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Department of Anatomy, University Medical School, Debrecen, Hungary.


The rat spinal cord with connected dorsal root ganglia was used to study neurokinin and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors involved in the sensory synaptic transmission of dorsal horn cells. Selective C-fibre excitation was produced by capsaicin (200-500 nM) administered to the dorsal root ganglions. Sixty-nine per cent of dorsal horn cells responded with a postsynaptic depolarization and enhanced synaptic activity, recorded via intracellular electrodes, to capsaicin-activated primary afferent input. Dorsal horn neurons activated by the capsaicin-evoked input were also excited by a 1-min perfusion of the neurokinin-1 receptor agonists substance P methyl ester or GR73 632 and by the neurokinin-2 agonist neurokinin-A. These cells were also depolarized by N-methyl-D-aspartate. Responses to substance P methyl ester and GR73 632 were selectively reduced by the neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist CP96,345, and responses to neurokinin-A were completely blocked by the neurokinin-2 receptor antagonist MEN10 376. The depolarization evoked by N-methyl-D-aspartate was not altered by either of the antagonists, but was completely blocked by the selective N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist (-)-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid. Capsaicin-evoked responses in the dorsal horn were inhibited by MEN10,376 (63 +/- 13% inhibition) but no significant change was observed with CP96,345. The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist (-)-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid consistently inhibited the capsaicin-induced response by 76 +/- 14%. Combination of (-)-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid and MEN10,376 produced an almost complete abolition of the capsaicin-evoked depolarization.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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