Peripheral vibration causes an adenosine-mediated postsynaptic inhibitory potential in dorsal horn neurons of the cat spinal cord
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We have previously reported a vibration-induced, adenosine-mediated inhibition of nociceptive dorsal horn neurons in the cat spinal cord. The present study was conducted to investigate the mechanisms of this inhibition. In vivo intracellular recording was obtained from dorsal horn neurons in the lower lumbar segments of the anaesthetized cat. Vibration (80-250 Hz for 2-3 s every 15-20 s) was applied to the glabrous skin of the toes of the hind foot using a feedback-controlled mechanical stimulator. In 32 of 43 neurons tested, vibration produced a pronounced hyperpolarization of the membrane potential. This hyperpolarization peaked at -10 mV and decayed throughout the period of the application of vibration. It was associated with a decrease in membrane resistance, had a reversal potential negative to the resting membrane potential and was Cl(-)-independent, suggesting that it was due to an increase in a K+ conductance, properties typical of the response to adenosine. This inhibitory postsynaptic potential was unaffected by intravenous administration of bicuculline, strychnine and naloxone but was blocked by iontophoretic administration of 8-sulphophenyltheophylline, a P1-purinergic receptor antagonist. These results confirm our previous finding that vibration-induced inhibition of nociceptive dorsal horn neurons is mediated via the release of an endogenous purine compound and further suggests that this inhibition involves a postsynaptic inhibitory mechanism.
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