Spinal Pharmacology of Agents which Alter Pain Transmission and Muscle Tone

  • T. L. Yaksh
  • P. A. C. Durant
  • M. S. Monasky
  • C. W. Stevens
  • R. R. Schick


It has become increasingly clear that various aspects of spinal sensory processing and motor function are mediated by substrates which have a distinctive neuro-chemistry and pharmacology. This appreciation has led to studies which address the neurotransmitter pharmacology of spinal processing, and subsequently to the spinal administration in man of several classes of receptor-selective agents. Two functional areas where this approach appears to have borne fruit is in the modification at the spinal level of pain processing and the abnormal motor tone which occurs following spinal injury, e.g. spasticity. In the following section, we will briefly consider the characteristics of three principal classes of agents which when administered spinally serve to alter sensory and motor processing: opioid, adrenergic and GABAergic agonists.


Dorsal Horn Opiate Receptor Epidural Morphine Tail Flick Intrathecal Morphine 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. L. Yaksh
  • P. A. C. Durant
  • M. S. Monasky
  • C. W. Stevens
  • R. R. Schick

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