Synaptic Activation by the Release of Peptides

  • J. L. Henry
  • V. Radhakrishnan
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 79)


This survey will review some of the recent evidence which indicates that activation of primary afferent fibres provokes synaptically-elicited responses in the spinal cord which are due to activation of peptide receptors and therefore, by inference, that peptide release has occurred. Such responses are, perhaps, most clearly demonstrated from extracellular and intracellular electrophysiological studies in vivo. In fact, these in vivo studies also indicate a specificity of the actions of at least some of these peptides to certain modalities of sensory impression, most notably nociception. Furthermore, spinal reflex studies not only confirm a role of peptides in the transfer of nociceptive information, but they also indicate that release is sufficient to cause physiologically relevant changes. This survey will also touch upon two further aspects pertaining to the functional role of synaptically released peptides. One is the mechanisms by which peptide receptor activation is expressed and the other is the interaction of peptide systems with other transmitter systems.


Dorsal Horn Spinal Dorsal Horn Dorsal Horn Neuron Substantia Gelatinosa Spinal Dorsal Horn Neuron 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Henry
    • 1
  • V. Radhakrishnan
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Physiology and PsychiatryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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