Dendritic domains of nociceptive-responsive parabrachial neurons match terminal fields of lamina I neurons in the rat. Article - 2003

L. Bourgeais, C. Gauriau, L. Monconduit, L. Villanueva, J.F. Bernard

L. Bourgeais, C. Gauriau, L. Monconduit, L. Villanueva, J.F. Bernard, « Dendritic domains of nociceptive-responsive parabrachial neurons match terminal fields of lamina I neurons in the rat.  », Journal of Comparative Neurology, 2003, pp. 238-256. ISSN 0092-7317

Abstract

This study investigates, in the anesthetized rat, the dendritic extent of parabrachial (PB) neurons whose nociceptive response to noxious stimuli has been previously recorded with an extracellular micropipette. The PB neurons were then injected with biocytin through the recording micropipette, via a juxtacellular technique. The dendritic arborization of individual PB neurons was carefully compared with the projections of medullary (trigeminal) and spinal lamina I neurons. The latter projections were labeled in separate animals that received injections of Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin restricted to the superficial layers of spinal or medullary dorsal horn. We report here that : 1) PB neurons excited chiefly by noxious stimulation of the face have their dendritic tree located primarily within the field of lamina I trigeminal projections, i.e., in the caudal portion of PB area, around the external medial and the caudal part of the external lateral subnuclei ; and 2) PB neurons excited chiefly by noxious stimulation of the paw or the tail have their dendritic tree located primarily within the field of lamina I spinal projections, i.e., in PB mid-extent, around the borderline between the external lateral and both the lateral crescent and the superior lateral subnuclei. Our results suggest the presence of an extensive excitatory axodendritic link between lamina I projections and PB nociceptive neurons around the lateral crescent and the external medial subnuclei. These findings strengthen the possibility of involvement of a subgroup of PB neurons in nociceptive processes.

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