Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract: Biochemical mapping of five different peptide-like materials—calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), substance P (SP), Met5-enkephalin (ME), cholecystokinin (CCK), and dynorphin A (1–8) (DYN)—was conducted in the dorsal and ventral zones of the spinal cord at the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar levels in 3-month-old rats 10 days after unilateral dorsal rhizotomy at the cervical level (C4-T2) or after neonatal administration of capsaicin (50 mg/kg s.c). In control rats, all peptide-like materials were more abundant in the dorsal than in the ventral zone all along the spinal cord. However, in both zones, absolute concentrations of CGRP, SP, ME, and CCK were significantly higher at the lumbar than at the cervical level. Rhizotomy-induced CGRP depletion (-85%) within the ipsilateral dorsal zone of the cervical cord was more pronounced than that due to neonatal capsaicin (-60%), a finding suggesting that this peptide is contained in both capsaicin-sensitive (mostly unmyelinated) and -insensitive (myelinated) primary afferent fibers. In contrast, similar depletions of SP (-50%) were observed after dorsal rhizotomy and neonatal capsaicin treatment, as expected from the presence of SP only in the capsaicin-sensitive small-diameter primary afferent fibers. Although the other three peptides remained unaffected all along the cord by either intervention, evidence for the existence of capsaicin-insensitive CCKergic primary afferent fibers could be inferred from the increased accumulation of CCK (together with SP and CGRP) in dorsal root ganglia ipsilateral to dorsal root sections.
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