Yonsei Med J.  2001 Feb;42(1):74-83. 10.3349/ymj.2001.42.1.74.

Effects of iontophoretically applied substance P, calcitonin gene-related peptide on excitability of dorsal horn neurones in rats

  • 1Department of Physiology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. tsnam@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr
  • 2Department of ENT, CHA General Hospital, College of Medicine, Pochon CHA Medical University, Sungnam, Korea.


Spontaneous pain, allodynia and hyperalgesia are well known phenomena following peripheral nerve or tissue injury, and it is speculated that secondary hyperalgesia and allodynia, are generally thought to depend on a hyperexcitability (sensitization) of neurons in the dorsal horn. It is supposed that the sensitization may be due to various actions of neurotransmitters (SP, CGRP, excitatory amino acids) released from the primary afferent fibers. In this study, we examined effects of the iontophoretically applied SP and CGRP on the response to EAA receptor agonists (NMDA and non-NMDA) in the WDR dorsal horn neurones and see if the effects of SP or CGRP mimic the characteristic response pattern known in various pain models. The main results are summarized as follows: 1) SP specifically potentiated NMDA response. 2) CGRP non-specifically potentiated both NMDA and AMPA responses. Potentiation of NMDA response, however, was significantly greater than that of AMPA response. 3) 50% of SP applied cells and 15.8% of CGRP applied cells showed reciprocal changes(potentiation of NMDA response and suppression of AMPA response). These results are generally consistent with the sensitization characteristics in diverse pain models and suggests that the modulatory effects of SP and CGRP on NMDA and non-NMDA (AMPA) response are, at least in part, contribute to the development of sensitization in various pain models.


Pain; microiontophoresis; substance P; calcitonin gene-related peptide excitatory amino acid
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