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Yu Y.-Q.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Yu Y.-Q.,Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders | Chen X.-F.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Chen X.-F.,Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders | And 7 more authors.
Physiological Research | Year: 2014

In the mammalian autonomic nervous system, tonic and phasic neurons can be differentiated on firing patterns in response to long depolarizing current pulse. However, the similar firing patterns in the somatic primary sensory neurons and their functional significance are not well investigated. Here, we identified two types of neurons innervating somatic sensory in rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Tonic neurons fire action potentials (APs) in an intensity-dependent manner, whereas phasic neurons typically generate only one AP firing at the onset of stimulation regardless of intensity. Combining retrograde labeling of somatic DRG neurons with fluorescent tracer DiI, we further find that these neurons demonstrate distinct changes under inflammatory pain states induced by complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) or bee venom toxin melittin. In tonic neurons, CFA and melittin treatments significantly decrease rheobase and AP durations (depolarization and repolarization), enhance amplitudes of overshoot and afterhyperpolarization (AHP), and increase the number of evoked action potentials. In phasic neurons, however, the same inflammation treatments cause fewer changes in these electrophysiological parameters except for the increased overshoot and decreased AP durations. In the present study, we find that tonic neurons are more hyperexcitable than phasic neurons after peripheral noxious inflammatory stimulation. The results indicate the distinct contributions of two types of DRG neurons in inflammatory pain. © 2014 Institute of Physiology v.v.i. Source

Liu M.-G.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Liu M.-G.,Seoul National University | Liu M.-G.,Kings College | Chen J.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | And 2 more authors.
Progress in Neurobiology | Year: 2014

Affective disorders and cognitive deficits are common comorbidities of chronic pain in the clinical setting, which severely affect the quality of life of pain patients and impose a great difficulty upon clinical pain therapy. Despite large numbers of human studies examining this issue, there are surprisingly few reports investigating the comorbidities of chronic pain in animal models. This review summarizes and integrates previous reports of animal studies on pain and comorbidity, covering pain-evoked anxiety, depression, attentional deficits, cognitive impairment and locomotor dysfunction in rodents. Moreover, pain-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity are also discussed in terms of long-term potentiation and long-term depression, synaptic transmission, neuronal excitability and structural correlates in 'pain matrix'. Finally, we conclude this review by pointing out some unresolved problems and future research directions. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Yang Y.,Capital Medical University | Yang F.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Yang F.,Capital Medical University | Li C.-L.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | And 12 more authors.
Neuroscience Bulletin | Year: 2016

The α2δ-1 subunit of the voltage-gated Ca2+ channel (VGCC) is a molecular target of gabapentin (GBP), which has been used as a first-line drug for the relief of neuropathic pain. GBP exerts its anti-nociceptive effects by disrupting trafficking of the α2δ-1 subunit to the presynaptic membrane, resulting in decreased neurotransmitter release. We previously showed that GBP has an anti-allodynic effect in the first two weeks; but this is followed by insensitivity in the later stage after repeated administration in a rat model of central post-stroke pain (CPSP) hypersensitivity induced by intra-thalamic hemorrhage. To explore the mechanisms underlying GBP insensitivity, the cellular localization and time-course of expression of the α2δ-1 subunit in both the thalamus and spinal dorsal horn were studied in the same model. We found that the α2δ-1 subunit was mostly localized in neurons, but not astrocytes and microglia. The level of α2δ-1 protein increased in the first two weeks after injury but then decreased in the third week, when GBP insensitivity occurred. Furthermore, the α2δ-1 down-regulation was likely caused by later neuronal loss in the injured thalamus through a mechanism other than apoptosis. In summary, the present results suggest that the GBP receptor α2δ-1 is mainly expressed in thalamic neurons in which it is up-regulated in the early stage of CPSP but this is followed by dramatic down-regulation, which is likely associated with GBP insensitivity after long-term use. © 2016, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS and Springer Science+Business Media Singapore Pte Ltd. Source

Xie F.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Xie F.,Key Laboratory of Brain Stress and Behavior | Fu H.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Fu H.,Key Laboratory of Brain Stress and Behavior | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

To establish the role of the metabolic state in the pathogenesis of polyneuropathy, an age- and sex-matched, longitudinal study in rats fed high-fat and high-sucrose diets (HFSD) or high-fat, high-sucrose and high-salt diets (HFSSD) relative to controls was performed. Time courses of body weight, systolic blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), insulin, free fatty acids (FFA), homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR), thermal and mechanical sensitivity and motor coordination were measured in parallel. Finally, large and small myelinated fibers (LMF, SMF) as well as unmyelinated fibers (UMF) in the sciatic nerves and ascending fibers in the spinal dorsal column were quantitatively assessed under electron microscopy. The results showed that early metabolic syndrome (hyperinsulinemia, dyslipidemia, and hypertension) and prediabetic conditions (impaired fasting glucose) could be induced by high energy diet, and these animals later developed painful polyneuropathy characterized by myelin breakdown and LMF loss in both peripheral and central nervous system. In contrast SMF and UMF in the sciatic nerves were changed little, in the same animals. Therefore the phenomenon that high energy diets induce bilateral mechanical, but not thermal, pain hypersensitivity is reflected by severe damage to LMF, but mild damage to SMF and UMF. Moreover, dietary sodium (high-salt) deteriorates the neuropathic pathological process induced by high energy diets, but paradoxically high salt consumption, may reduce, at least temporarily, chronic pain perception in these animals. © 2013 Xie et al. Source

Chen J.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Chen J.,Key Laboratory of Brain Stress and Behavior | Chen J.,Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders | Guan S.-M.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | And 4 more authors.
Neuroscience Bulletin | Year: 2016

Melittin is a basic 26-amino-acid polypeptide that constitutes 40–60% of dry honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom. Although much is known about its strong surface activity on lipid membranes, less is known about its pain-producing effects in the nervous system. In this review, we provide lines of accumulating evidence to support the hypothesis that melittin is the major pain-producing substance of bee venom. At the psychophysical and behavioral levels, subcutaneous injection of melittin causes tonic pain sensation and pain-related behaviors in both humans and animals. At the cellular level, melittin activates primary nociceptor cells through direct and indirect effects. On one hand, melittin can selectively open thermal nociceptor transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor channels via phospholipase A2-lipoxygenase/cyclooxygenase metabolites, leading to depolarization of primary nociceptor cells. On the other hand, algogens and inflammatory/pro-inflammatory mediators released from the tissue matrix by melittin’s pore-forming effects can activate primary nociceptor cells through both ligand-gated receptor channels and the G-protein-coupled receptor-mediated opening of transient receptor potential canonical channels. Moreover, subcutaneous melittin up-regulates Nav1.8 and Nav1.9 subunits, resulting in the enhancement of tetrodotoxin-resistant Na+ currents and the generation of long-term action potential firing. These nociceptive responses in the periphery finally activate and sensitize the spinal dorsal horn pain-signaling neurons, resulting in spontaneous nociceptive paw flinches and pain hypersensitivity to thermal and mechanical stimuli. Taken together, it is concluded that melittin is the major pain-producing substance of bee venom, by which peripheral persistent pain and hyperalgesia (or allodynia), primary nociceptive neuronal sensitization, and CNS synaptic plasticity (or metaplasticity) can be readily induced and the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying naturally-occurring venomous biotoxins can be experimentally unraveled. © 2016 Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS and Springer Science+Business Media Singapore Source

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