The effects of strychnine, bicuculline, and ketamine on `immersion-inhibited' dorsal horn convergent neurons in intact and spinalized rats Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • In both intact and spinalized rats, this study examined the effects of strychnine (a glycine antagonist), bicuculline (a GABAA antagonist), and ketamine (a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist) on one particular class of lumbar dorsal horn convergent neurons. This group of convergent neurons are inhibited when a rat's entire ipsilateral hindpaw is immersed in 50 degrees C water and has a strong afterdischarge as soon as the paw is removed from the water. Strychnine (2 mg/kg, iv) increased ongoing activity and blocked the 'inhibition phase' in both intact and spinalized rats demonstrating that a spinal-related glycine mechanism was involved in the inhibition. However, only in intact rats did the firing rate of the 'afterdischarge phase' increase significantly from pre-drug levels, suggesting that supraspinal sites may be involved in modulating this phase. Ketamine (15 mg/kg, iv) depressed ongoing activity and the firing rate in the afterdischarge phase of these neurons. Additionally, ketamine reversed the strychnine-induced increase in ongoing activity. Bicuculline (2 mg/kg, iv) had no effect on the activity of this cell class. As shown previously, and replicated here, these 'immersion-inhibited' neurons invariably have both inhibitory and excitatory mechano-receptive fields on the ipsilateral hindpaw. Thus, the response of this class of convergent neurons to noxious stimulation may be a function of relative inputs of glycine and EAA's, each possibly triggered by the stimulation of different receptive fields/regions on the same paw. Furthermore, when both fields are co-stimulated during noxious immersion of the entire paw, glycine has a stronger influence on activity than does the EAA's.

publication date

  • February 1998