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Coexpression of heat-evoked and capsaicin-evoked inward currents in acutely dissociated rat dorsal root ganglion neurons

, : Coexpression of heat-evoked and capsaicin-evoked inward currents in acutely dissociated rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. Neuroscience Letters. 231(1): 33-36

Noxious heat is able to activate heat-sensitive nociceptors in the skin very rapidly, but little is known about the mechanisms by which heat is transduced. We used the whole-cell patch-clamp technique to study the effects of noxious heat and capsaicin on freshly dissociated rat dorsal root ganglion neurons in vitro. Using temperatures between 41 degree C and 53 degree C, 8 of 19 small neurons (vphi ltoreq 30 mu-m) exhibited a heat-evoked inward current. All heat-sensitive neurons tested were also capsaicin-sensitive. Moreover, the heat response tended to be enhanced after capsaicin (360 +- 150 pA versus 125 +- 45 pA, P lt 0.1, n = 7). Two of five heat-insensitive neurons were excited by capsaicin; both neurons developed a heat response after capsaicin. Large neurons (vphi gt 30 mu-m) did not respond to heat (on), and were not sensitive to capsaicin either. These findings indicate that heat stimuli may directly activate capsaicin-sensitive primary nociceptive afferents.


PMID: 9280161

DOI: 10.1016/s0304-3940(97)00533-8

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