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Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 134, Issue 4, pp 409–416 | Cite as

Change in mechanical receptive field properties induced by GABAA receptor activation in the trigeminal spinal nucleus caudalis neurons in rats

  • M. Takeda
  • T. Tanimoto
  • S. Matsumoto
Review

Abstract.

The purpose of the present study was to characterize the effect of a local GABAergic inhibitory mechanism on the mechanical receptive field properties of trigeminal spinal nucleus caudalis (SpVc) neurons by iontophoretic application of a γ-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA)-antagonist and -agonist. A total of 24 SpVc neurons that responded to orofacial mechanical stimulation were extracellularly recorded by means of multibarrel microelectrodes in urethane-anesthetized rats. The GABAA antagonist bicuculline (30 nA, 5 min) enhanced the activities of SpVc neurons (20/24) induced by both touch/pressure and pinch stimuli and also lowered the mechanical stimulation threshold (touch/pressure). Spontaneous discharges in these neurons (20/24) were significantly increased after bicuculline application. Eighteen out of 24 SpVc neurons showed signs of expansion of the receptive field size after iontophoretic application of bicuculline. These changes showed a current-dependent manner and were reversed in approximately 15–20 min. Iontophoretic application of the GABAA agonist muscimol induced a current-related inhibition of neuronal activity elicited by touch/pressure and pinch stimuli as well as a decrease in the size of receptive fields. The facilitation of evoked responses and receptive field expansion of SpVc neuron induced by bicuculline application were blocked by coapplication of muscimol (50 nA, 5 min). These results suggest that a local mechanism acting via GABAA receptors normally exerts a tonic inhibition of mechanoreceptive transmission in the trigeminal spinal nucleus neurons and this effect may limit responsiveness and size of receptive fields.

Trigeminal spinal nucleus caudalis GABA Bicuculline Facilitation Receptive field Iontophoresis 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Takeda
    • 1
  • T. Tanimoto
    • 1
  • S. Matsumoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Nippon Dental University, School of Dentistry at Tokyo, 1-9-20, Fujimi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-8159, Japan

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