Zieglgänsberger, Walter; Sutor, Bernd
Responses of substantia gelatinosa neurons to putative neurotransmitters in an in vitro preparation of the adult rat spinal cord.
In: Brain Research, Vol. 279, No. 1-2: pp. 316-320
Extracellular recordings were performed from neurons of the substantia gelatinosa (SG) in an in vitro preparation obtained from the spinal cord of adult rats. About 40% of neurons were spontaneously active. They could be synaptically influenced by low and high threshold fiber input entering the spinal cord through dorsal and ventral and ventral roots. Repetitive low threshold stimulation led to a transient increase in activity of a number of these neurons, whereas high intensity stimulation predominantly reduced excitability. The majority of non-spontaneously active neurons responded to an increase of stimulus intensity covariantly with an increase in firing rate. The excitatory effect of phoretically administeredl-glutamate as well as synaptically induced and spontaneous activity was reduced or abolished by phoretically administered GABA, glycine or the enkephalin-analogued-Ala2-d-Leu5-enkephalin. The actions of the enkephalin analogue were blocked by phoretically applied naloxone. The findings are consistent with the notion from in vivo investigations of a structurally and functionally heterogeneous population of neurons which display a responsiveness to microtopically applied putative neurotransmitters resembling dorsal horn neurons in deeper layers.