Gabapentin suppresses ectopic nerve discharges and reverses allodynia in neuropathic rats.
Repetitive ectopic discharges from injured afferent nerves play an important role in initiation and maintenance of neuropathic pain. Gabapentin is effective for treatment of neuropathic pain but the sites and mechanisms of its antinociceptive actions remain uncertain. In the present study, we tested a hypothesis that therapeutic doses of gabapentin suppress ectopic afferent discharge activity generated from injured peripheral nerves. Mechanical allodynia, induced by partial ligation of the sciatic nerve in rats, was determined by application of von Frey filaments to the hindpaw. Single-unit afferent nerve activity was recorded proximal to the ligated sciatic nerve site. Intravenous gabapentin, in a range of 30 to 90 mg/kg, significantly attenuated allodynia in nerve-injured rats. Furthermore, gabapentin, in the same therapeutic dose range, dose-dependently inhibited the ectopic discharge activity of 15 injured sciatic afferent nerve fibers through an action on impulse generation. However, the conduction velocity and responses of 12 normal afferent fibers to mechanical stimulation were not affected by gabapentin. Therefore, this study provides electrophysiological evidence that gabapentin is capable of suppressing the ectopic discharge activity from injured peripheral nerves. This action may contribute, at least in part, to the antiallodynic effect of gabapentin on neuropathic pain. (+info)
Differential distribution of three members of a gene family encoding low voltage-activated (T-type) calcium channels.
Low voltage-activated (T-type) calcium currents are observed in many central and peripheral neurons and display distinct physiological and functional properties. Using in situ hybridization, we have localized central and peripheral nervous system expression of three transcripts (alpha1G, alpha1H, and alpha1I) of the T-type calcium channel family (CaVT). Each mRNA demonstrated a unique distribution, and expression of the three genes was largely complementary. We found high levels of expression of these transcripts in regions associated with prominent T-type currents, including inferior olivary and thalamic relay neurons (which expressed alpha1G), sensory ganglia, pituitary, and dentate gyrus granule neurons (alpha1H), and thalamic reticular neurons (alpha1I and alpha1H). Other regions of high expression included the Purkinje cell layer of the cerebellum, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the claustrum (alpha1G), the olfactory tubercles (alpha1H and alpha1I), and the subthalamic nucleus (alpha1I and alpha1G). Some neurons expressed high levels of all three genes, including hippocampal pyramidal neurons and olfactory granule cells. Many brain regions showed a predominance of labeling for alpha1G, including the amygdala, cerebral cortex, rostral hypothalamus, brainstem, and spinal cord. Exceptions included the basal ganglia, which showed more prominent labeling for alpha1H and alpha1I, and the olfactory bulb, the hippocampus, and the caudal hypothalamus, which showed more even levels of all three transcripts. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that differential gene expression underlies pharmacological and physiological heterogeneity observed in neuronal T-type calcium currents, and they provide a molecular basis for the study of T-type channels in particular neurons. (+info)
Characterization of the transmembrane molecular architecture of the dystroglycan complex in schwann cells.
We have demonstrated previously 1) that the dystroglycan complex, but not the sarcoglycan complex, is expressed in peripheral nerve, and 2) that alpha-dystroglycan is an extracellular laminin-2-binding protein anchored to beta-dystroglycan in the Schwann cell membrane. In the present study, we investigated the transmembrane molecular architecture of the dystroglycan complex in Schwann cells. The cytoplasmic domain of beta-dystroglycan was co-localized with Dp116, the Schwann cell-specific isoform of dystrophin, in the abaxonal Schwann cell cytoplasm adjacent to the outer membrane. beta-dystroglycan bound to Dp116 mainly via the 15 C-terminal amino acids of its cytoplasmic domain, but these amino acids were not solely responsible for the interaction of these two proteins. Interestingly, the beta-dystroglycan-precipitating antibody precipitated only a small fraction of alpha-dystroglycan and did not precipitate laminin and Dp116 from the peripheral nerve extracts. Our results indicate 1) that Dp116 is a component of the submembranous cytoskeletal system that anchors the dystroglycan complex in Schwann cells, and 2) that the dystroglycan complex in Schwann cells is fragile compared with that in striated muscle cells. We propose that this fragility may be attributable to the absence of the sarcoglycan complex in Schwann cells. (+info)
Analysis of optical signals evoked by peripheral nerve stimulation in rat somatosensory cortex: dynamic changes in hemoglobin concentration and oxygenation.
The origins of reflected light changes associated with neuronal activity (optical signals) were investigated in rat somatosensory cortex with optical imaging, microspectrophotometry, and laser-Doppler flowmetry, and dynamic changes in local hemoglobin concentration and oxygenation were focused on. Functional activation was carried out by 2-second, 5-Hz electrical stimulation of the hind limb under chloralose anesthesia. These measurements were performed at the contralateral parietal cortex through a thinned skull. Regional cortical blood flow (rCBF) started to rise 1.5 seconds after the stimulus onset, peaked at 3.5 seconds (26.7% +/- 9.7% increase over baseline), and returned to near baseline by 10 seconds. Optical signal responses at 577, 586, and 805 nm showed a monophasic increase in absorbance coincident with the increase in rCBF; however, the signal responses at 605 and 760 nm were biphasic (an early increase and late decrease in absorbance) and microanatomically heterogeneous. The spectral changes of absorbance indicated that the concentrations of both total hemoglobin and oxyhemoglobin increased together with rCBF; deoxyhemoglobin, increased slightly but distinctly (P = 0.016 at 1.0 seconds, P = 0.00038 at 1.5 seconds) just before rCBF increases, then decreased. The authors conclude that activity-related optical signals are greatly associated with a moment-to-moment adjustment of rCBF and metabolism to neuronal activity. (+info)
The distribution of ganglioside-like moieties in peripheral nerves.
GM1 ganglioside has been implicated as a target of immune attack in some diseases of the peripheral nervous system. Anti-GM1 ganglioside antibodies are associated with certain acquired immune-mediated neuropathies. It is not clear how anti-GM1 antibodies cause nerve dysfunction and injury; however, sodium and/or potassium ion channel dysfunction at the node of Ranvier has been implicated. To gain insight into the pathogenesis of these neuropathies, we examined the distribution of GM1 ganglioside and Gal(beta1-3)GalNAc moieties in nerve fibres and their relationship to voltage-gated sodium and potassium (Kv1.1, 1.5) channels at the nodes of Ranvier in peripheral nerves from human, rat and dystrophic mice. Gal(beta1-3)GalNAc moieties were localized via the binding of cholera toxin and peanut agglutinin. As a control for the specificity of these findings, we compared the distribution of GM1 moieties to that of the ganglioside GT1b. Our study provides definitive evidence for the presence of Gal(beta1-3)GalNAc bearing moieties on the axolemmal surface of mature myelinated fibres and on Schwann cells. Gal(beta1-3)GalNAc binding sites did not have an obligatory co-localization with voltage-gated sodium channels or the potassium ion channels Kv1.1 and Kv1.5 and are thus not likely carried by these ion channels. In contrast with Gal(beta1-3)GalNAc, GT1b-like moieties are restricted to the axolemma. (+info)
Salinomycin-induced polyneuropathy in cats: morphologic and epidemiologic data.
In April 1996, an outbreak of toxic polyneuropathy in cats occurred in the Netherlands. All cats had been fed one of two brands of dry cat food from one manufacturer. Chemical analyses of these foods, stomach contents, and liver and kidney of affected cats revealed contamination with the ionophor salinomycin. Epidemiologic and clinical data were collected from 823 cats, or about 1% of the cats at risk. In 21 affected cats, postmortem examination was performed. The affected cats had acute onset of lameness and paralysis of the hindlimbs followed by the forelimbs. Clinical and pathologic examination indicated a distal polyneuropathy involving both the sensory and motor nerves. (+info)
Neurotrophin modulation of the monosynaptic reflex after peripheral nerve transection.
The effects of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and NT-4/5 on the function of axotomized group Ia afferents and motoneurons comprising the monosynaptic reflex pathway were investigated. The axotomized medial gastrocnemius (MG) nerve was provided with NT-3 or NT-4/5 for 8-35 d via an osmotic minipump attached to its central end at the time of axotomy. After this treatment, monosynaptic EPSPs were recorded intracellularly from MG or lateral gastrocnemius soleus (LGS) motoneurons in response to stimulation of the heteronymous nerve under pentobarbital anesthesia. Controls were preparations with axotomized nerves treated directly with vehicle; other axotomized controls were administered subcutaneous NT-3. Direct NT-3 administration (60 microgram/d) not only prevented the decline in EPSP amplitude from axotomized afferents (stimulate MG, record LGS) observed in axotomy controls but, after 5 weeks, led to EPSPs larger than those from intact afferents. These central changes were paralleled by recovery of group I afferent conduction velocity. Removal of NT-3 4-5 weeks after beginning treatment resulted in a decline of conduction velocity and EPSP amplitude within 1 week to values characteristic of axotomy. The increased synaptic efficacy after NT-3 treatment was associated with enhanced connectivity of single afferents to motoneurons. NT-4/5 induced modest recovery in group I afferent conduction velocity but not of the EPSPs they elicited. NT-3 or NT-4/5 had no effect on the properties of treated motoneurons or their monosynaptic EPSPs. We conclude that NT-3, and to a limited extent NT-4/5, promotes recovery of axotomized group Ia afferents but not axotomized motoneurons or the synapses on them. (+info)
Relationships between lead absorption and peripheral nerve conduction velocities in lead workers.
The motor sensory, and mixed nerve conduction velocities of median and posterior tibial nerves were measured in 39 lead workers whose blood lead (PbB) concentrations ranged from 2 to 73 mug/100 g with anaverage of 29 mug/100 g. The PbB concentrations significantly correlated with the maximal motor nerve conduction velocities (MCV) and mixed nerve conduction velocities (MNCV) of the median nerve in the forearm and with the MCV of the posterior tibial nerve. Erythrocyte delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) activity correlated similarly with the MCV and MNCV of the median nerve in the forearm, and the 24-hour urinary lead excretion following the intravenous administration of CaEDTA (20 mg/kg) (lead mobilization test) correlated with the MNCV. But no parameter correlated with the sensory nerve conduction velocities. By multiple regression analysis, a combination of the three parameters of lead absorption was found to correlate significantly with the MCV and MNCV of the median nerve in the forearm. The MCVs of the median and posterior tibial nerves in lead workers were significantly delayed in the PbB range of 29-73 mug/100 g (mean 45), in the lead mobilization test range from 173 to 3,540 mug/day (mean 973), and the ALAD activity range from 4.4 to 19.4 u. (mean 14.0), respectively. (+info)