03-07-2003, 01:25 AM
• Hains BC, Willis WD and Hulsebosch CE (2003). Serotonin receptors 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(3) reduce hyperexcitability of dorsal horn neurons after chronic spinal cord hemisection injury in rat. Exp Brain Res 149:174-86. Summary: Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in abnormal pain syndromes in humans. In a rodent model of SCI, T13 spinal hemisection results in allodynia and hyperalgesia due in part to interruption of descending pathways, including serotonergic (5-HT) systems, that leads to hyperexcitability of dorsal horn neurons. To characterize further the role of 5-HT and 5-HT receptor subtypes 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(3) in neuronal activation after hemisection, we have examined the responsiveness of dorsal horn neurons to a variety of innocuous and noxious peripheral stimuli. Male Sprague-Dawley rats, 150-175 g, were spinally hemisected ( n=40) at T13 and allowed 4 weeks for development of mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia. Animals then underwent electrophysiologic recording and the results were compared with those from sham controls ( n=15). Evoked responses of convergent dorsal horn neurons ( n=224 total) at L3-L5 to innocuous and noxious peripheral stimuli were characterized after administration of vehicle, 5-HT (25, 50, 100, and 200 micro g), 5-HT (100 micro g) in conjunction with the selective 5-HT(1A) antagonist WAY 100135 (100 micro g), the 5-HT(3) antagonist MDL 72222 (100 micro g), the selective 5-HT(1A) agonist 8-hydroxy-2-(di- n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT, 150 micro g), or the 5-HT(3) agonist 2-Me-5HT (75 micro g), with or without pretreatment with antagonists; all treatments were delivered topically onto the cord adjacent to the recording electrode. In hemisected animals, increased responsiveness of convergent cells to all peripheral stimuli was observed bilaterally when compared to controls. No changes in ongoing background activity were present. In control animals, only the highest dose of 5-HT (200 micro g) was sufficient to reduce evoked activity, whereas in hemisected animals a concentration-dependant decrease in response was observed. In hemisected animals, both 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(3) receptor antagonism reduced the effectiveness of 5-HT, restoring elevated evoked activity by up to 70% at the doses tested. Administration of 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(3) receptor agonists also decreased hyperexcitability, effects prevented by pretreatment with corresponding antagonists. These results demonstrate the development of denervation supersensitivity to 5-HT following SCI, corroborate behavioral studies showing the effectiveness of 5-HT in reducing allodynia and hyperalgesia after SCI, and contribute to a mechanistic understanding of the role of 5-HT receptor subtypes in chronic central pain. Department of Anatomy and Neurosciences, and Marine Biomedical Institute, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, 77555-043, Galveston, TX, USA.