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Neuroscience. 1995 Oct;68(4):1229-35.

Distribution of neuropeptide FF (FLFQPQRFamide) receptors in the adult rat spinal cord: effects of dorsal rhizotomy and neonatal capsaicin.

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Unité de Recherche de Neurobiologie Pharmacologique, INSERM U.161, Paris, France.


By using quantitative autoradiography and highly selective iodinated ligands, we quantified modifications in neuropeptide FF binding sites in the superficial layers (laminae I and II) of the cervical (C6-C8 segments) and lumbar (L3-L5 segments) enlargements in two models: (i) rats neonatally treated with capsaicin; (ii) rat submitted 15 days before to unilateral dorsal rhizotomies. We comparatively analysed the distribution of mu-opioid binding sites in the same animals. We have shown that the [125I]YLFQPQRFamide (neuropeptide FF sites) labelling is not significantly modified following selective damage of fine afferent fibres by neonatal capsaicin treatment. In the cervical and lumbar enlargements, capsaicin-treated/control binding ratios for [125I]YLFQPQRFamide were 0.90 and 0.86, respectively. While unilateral dorsal rhizotomy induced a drastic decrease in [125I]FK-33-824 labelling in the side ipsilateral to the lesion as compared to the intact side of (yielding ratios of 0.29 and 0.31 for cervical and lumbar levels, respectively), [125I]YLFQPQRFamide labelling was not significantly modified, yielding ratios of 0.98 and 0.91 for cervical and lumbar levels, respectively. These data suggest that, in contrast with a majority of mu-opioid receptors, neuropeptide FF receptors are not located on fine primary afferent fibers carrying nociceptive information from the fore- or hindlimb in the rat. This preferential postsynaptic localization, together with the reported "morphine modulating" action of this peptide, support the proposal of a role for neuropeptide FF in intraspinal modulation of nociceptive input.

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