Central projections and entries of capsaicin-sensitive muscle afferents

Della Torre, G.; Lucchi, M.L.; Brunetti, O.; Pettorossi, V.E.; Clavenzani, P.; Bortolami, R.

Brain Research 713(1-2): 223-231


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-8993
PMID: 8724994
DOI: 10.1016/0006-8993(95)01538-8
Accession: 008277456

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The entry pathway and central distribution of A delta and C muscle afferents within the central nervous system (CNS) were investigated by combining electron microscopy and electrophysiological analysis after intramuscular injection of capsaicin. The drug was injected into the rat lateral gastrocnemius (LG) and extraocular (EO) muscles. The compound action potentials of LG nerve and the evoked field potentials recorded in semilunar ganglion showed an immediate and permanent reduction in A delta and C components. The morphological data revealed degenerating unmyelinated axons and terminals in the inner sublamina II and in the border of laminae I-II of the dorsal horn at L4-L5 and C1-C2 (subnucleus caudalis trigemini) spinal cord segments. Most degenerating terminals were the central bouton (C) of type I and II synaptic glomeruli. Furthermore, degenerating peripheral axonal endings (V-2) presynaptic to normal C were found. Since V-2 were previously found degenerated after cutting the oculomotor nerve (ON) or L4 ventral root, we conclude that some A delta and C afferents from LG and EO muscles entering the CNS by ON or ventral roots make axoaxonic synapses on other primary afferents to promote an afferent control of sensory input.