This book constitutes the proceedings of a NATO Advanced Research Workshop held in El Escorial (Spain) from 22 -27 May 1988 with the title Processing of sensory information in the superficial dorsal hom of the spinal cord. Included in the book are reports of most of the main lectures given at the meeting, section introductions written by each session Chairman, section reports compiled by session rapporteurs and some short papers invited from authors of communications given in poster form. The latter were selected on the basis of being immediately relevant to the topic of the workshop and of originating from a laboratory not represented by the main speakers. All in all we believe that the reader can get a fair idea of the structure and general character of this Workshop. The overall aim of the meeting was to review the current state of knowledge on the role of the superficial dorsal horn of the mammalian spinal cord as a nucleus of relay and modulation of the somatic and visceral sensory input to the central nervous system. In this context, the contribution of this spinal cord region to the appreciation of pain was a central topic of discussion. Over the last decade there has been a considerable increase in anatomical, physiological and neurochemical studies of the superficial dorsal horn.
Table of ContentsThe Superficial Dorsal Horn.- The Superficial Dorsal Horn.- Section I: Afferent Inputs to the Superficial Dorsal Horn.- Distribution of unmyelinated primary afferent fibres in the dorsal horn.- Spinal projections of thin myelinated deep afferents and their topical relation to dorsal horn neurones processing deep input.- The distribution of muscle and cutaneous projections to the dorsal horn of the upper cervical cord of the cat.- Electron microscopic localization of peptide-like immunoreactivity in labelled dorsal root terminals in the spinal substantia gelatinosa of the monkey.- Immunoreactivity of rat primary afferent neurones with C- and A- fibres.- Coexistence of peptides in primary afferent neurones.- Laminar and segmental termination in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord of an articular nerve of the forepaw in the cat.- Spinal termination of primary afferents of the cat’s knee joint.- Cell size and Nissl pattern analyses of primary afferent neurons innervating the molar tooth pulp and cornea of the rat.- Visceral and somatic afferent origin of calcitonin gene-related peptide-immunoreactivity in the superficial and deep laminae of the thoracic spinal cord of the rat.- Discussion.- Section II: Receptive Field Properties of Lamina I Neurons.- Characterization of lamina I projection neurons: physiology and anatomy.- Input to and output from lamina I neurones in the cat spinal cord.- The influence of cutaneous inputs on the activity of neurones in the substantia gelatinosa.- Superficial dorsal horn neurons in the rat responsive to visceral and cutaneous inputs.- Identification of a sub-population of viscero-somatic neurones unique to the superficial dorsal horn.- Discussion.- Section III: Spinal and Supraspinal Outputs from the Superficial Dorsal Horn.- Characterization of long ascending tract projection neurons and non-tract neurons in the superficial dorsal horn (SDH).- Projections and neurochemical specificity of the different morphological types of marginal cells.- Projections of the superficial dorsal horn to the midbrain and thalamus.- Discussion.- Section IV: Development and Plasticity in the Superficial Dorsal Horn.- The significance of plastic changes in lamina 1 systems.- Molecular events in the spinal cord following sensory stimulation.- Denervation induced changes in somatotopic organization: the ineffective projections of afferent fibres and structural plasticity.- Physiological and pharmacological induction of c-fos protein immunoreactivity in superficial dorsal horn neurones.- Modality properties and inhibitory receptive fields of dorsal horn neurones in cats with dorsolateral funiculus lesions.- Discussion.- Section V: Neurotransmitters and Peptides in the Superficial Dorsal Horn.- Glutamate and other putative mediators of fast synaptic action in the superficial dorsal horn.- Peripheral stimuli releasing neuropeptides in the dorsal horn of the cat.- Somatic, articular and visceral noxious-stimulus-evoked expression of c-fos in the spinal cord of the rat: differential patterns of activity and modulation by analgesic agents.- In situ hybridization histochemical and immunocytochemical analysis of opioid gene products in a rat model of peripheral inflammation.- In vitro studies on neurones of the superficial dorsal horn in slices of 9–16 day old rat spinal cord.- Opioid and serotonergic effects on lamina I and deeper dorsal horn neurones.- Discussion.- Section VI: Superficial Dorsal Horn Changes Following Peripheral Injury.- Opioid receptors in the dorsal horn of intact and deafferented rats: autoradiographic and electrophysiological studies.- Neuronal plasticity in the superficial dorsal horn following peripheral tissue inflammation and nerve injury.- Afferent induced alterations of receptive field properties.- Neurochemical and anatomical changes in the dorsal horn of rats with an experimental, painful peripheral neuropathy.- A comparison of the receptive field plasticity of nocireceptive and multireceptive dorsal horn neurones following noxious mechanical stimulation.- Discussion.- Section VII: Effects of Technical Approaches on Current Opinions about the Superficial Dorsal Horn.- What modulates tonic modulation of spinal dorsal horn neurons?.- On the influence of anaesthesia, stimulus intensity and drug access in pharmacological tests of sensory processing in the superficial dorsal horn.- Discussion.- List of Participants.- Author Index.