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Neuroreport. 1996 Sep 2;7(13):2186-90.

Descending modulation of Fos expression after persistent peripheral inflammation.

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Neurobiology and Anesthesiology Branch, National Institute of Dental Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The effects of spinal transection on Fos protein expression following complete Freund's adjuvant-induced hindpaw inflammation and hyperalgesia were studied. Fos-like immunoreactivity (LI) was used as a measure of neuronal activity in dorsal horn nociceptive pathways. Induction of Fos-LI in spinally transected rats with 3 days of hindpaw inflammation was significantly increased in ipsilateral lumbar (L 4,5) spinal cord, when compared with control animals with similar inflammation but an intact spinal cord. The contralateral side of spinally transected rats also showed significant induction of Fos-LI compared to the non-inflamed side of control rats. Since Fos induction provides an indication of the level of neuronal activity in response to a given stimulus, these results suggest that the net effect of brain stem descending pathways is to dampen central hyper-excitability in the spinal cord induced by tissue inflammation and hyperalgesia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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