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Changes in functional properties of A-type but not C-type sensory neurons in vivo in a rat model of peripheral neuropathy

Authors Zhu, Wu Q, Henry J

Received 21 September 2011

Accepted for publication 29 October 2011

Published 20 June 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 175—192


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Yong Fang Zhu, Qi Wu, James L Henry

Michael G DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Background: The aim of this study was to compare primary sensory neurons in controls and in an animal neuropathic pain model in order to understand which types of neurons undergo changes associated with peripheral neuropathy. On the basis of intracellular recordings in vivo from somata, L4 sensory dorsal root ganglion neurons were categorized according to action potential configuration, conduction velocity, and receptive field properties to mechanical stimuli.
Methods: Intracellular recordings were made from functionally identified dorsal root ganglion neurons in vivo in the Mosconi and Kruger animal model of peripheral neuropathic pain.
Results: In this peripheral neuropathy model, a specific population of Aβ-fiber low threshold mechanoreceptor neurons, which respond normally to innocuous mechanical stimuli, exhibited differences in action potential configuration and conduction velocity when compared with control animals. No abnormal conduction velocity, action potential shapes, or tactile sensitivity of C-fiber neurons were encountered.
Conclusion: This study provides evidence for defining a potential role of Aβ-fiber low threshold mechanoreceptor neurons that might contribute to peripheral neuropathic pain.

Keywords: peripheral neuropathy, neuropathic pain, primary sensory neuron, dorsal root ganglion, action potential configuration, animal model, in vivo recording

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