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Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Soto C.,Health Research Institute IDIS | Canedo A.,Health Research Institute IDIS
Journal of Physiology | Year: 2011

Aδ- and/or C-fibre nociceptive inputs drive subnucleus reticularis dorsalis (SRD) neurones projecting to a variety of regions including the spinal cord and the nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis (NRGc), but their electrophysiological properties are largely unknown. Here we intracellularly recorded the SRD neuronal responses to injection of polarising current pulses as well as to electrical stimulation of the cervical spinal posterior quadrant (PQ) and the NRGc. Three different classes of neurones with distinct electrophysiological properties were found: type I were characterised by the absence of a fast postspike hyperpolarisation, type II by the presence of a postspike hyperpolarisation followed by a depolarisation resembling low threshold calcium spikes (LTSs), and type III (lacking LTSs) had a fast postspike hyperpolarisation deinactivating A-like potassium channels leading to enlarged interspike intervals. All three classes generated depolarising sags to hyperpolarising current pulses and showed 3-4.5 Hz subthreshold oscillatory activity leading to windup when intracellularly injecting low-frequency repetitive depolarising pulses as well as in response to 0.5-2 Hz NRGc and PQ electrical stimulation. About half of the 132 sampled neurones responded antidromically to NRGc stimulation with more than 65% of the NRGc-antidromic cells, pertaining to all three types, also responding antidromically to PQ stimulation. NRGc stimulation induced exclusively excitatory first-synaptic-responses whilst PQ stimulation induced first-response excitation in most cases, but inhibitory postsynaptic potentials in a few type II and type III neurones not projecting to the spinal cord that also displayed cumulative inhibitory effects (inverse windup). The results show that SRD cells (i) can actively regulate different temporal firing patterns due to their intrinsic electrophysiological properties, (ii) generate windup upon gradual membrane depolarisation produced by low-frequency intracellular current injection and by C-fibre tonic input, both processes leading subthreshold oscillations to threshold, and (iii) collateralise to the NRGc and the spinal cord, potentially providing simultaneous regulation of ascending noxious information and motor reactions to pain. © 2011 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2011 The Physiological Society. Source

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