Expression of neuropeptide FF defines a population of excitatory interneurons in the superficial dorsal horn of the mouse spinal cord that respond to noxious and pruritic stimuli

Gutierrez-Mecinas, M. , Bell, A. , Polgár, E., Watanabe, M. and Todd, A. J. (2019) Expression of neuropeptide FF defines a population of excitatory interneurons in the superficial dorsal horn of the mouse spinal cord that respond to noxious and pruritic stimuli. Neuroscience, 416, pp. 281-293. (doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.08.013) (PMID:31421202) (PMCID:PMC6839401)

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Abstract

The great majority of neurons in the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord are excitatory interneurons, and these are required for the normal perception of pain and itch. We have previously identified 5 largely non-overlapping populations among these cells, based on the expression of four different neuropeptides (cholecystokinin, neurotensin, neurokinin B and substance P) and of green fluorescent protein driven by the promoter for gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) in a transgenic mouse line. Another peptide (neuropeptide FF, NPFF) has been identified among the excitatory neurons, and here we have used an antibody against the NPFF precursor (pro-NPFF) and a probe that recognises Npff mRNA to identify and characterise these cells. We show that they are all excitatory interneurons, and are separate from the five populations listed above, accounting for ~ 6% of the excitatory neurons in laminae I-II. By examining phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases, we show that the NPFF cells can respond to different types of noxious and pruritic stimulus. Ablation of somatostatin-expressing dorsal horn neurons has been shown to result in a dramatic reduction in mechanical pain sensitivity, while somatostatin released from these neurons is thought to contribute to itch. Since the great majority of the NPFF cells co-expressed somatostatin, these cells may play a role in the perception of pain and itch.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bell, Mr Andrew and Beresford-Polgar, Dr Erika and Todd, Professor Andrew and Gutierrez-Mecinas, Dr Maria
Authors: Gutierrez-Mecinas, M., Bell, A., Polgár, E., Watanabe, M., and Todd, A. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Neuroscience
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0306-4522
ISSN (Online):1873-7544
Published Online:14 August 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Neuroscience 416:281-293
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
644164Defining pain circuitry in health and diseaseAndrew ToddWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)102645/Z/13/ZINP - CENTRE FOR NEUROSCIENCE
689031The role of NPY-containing inhibitory interneurons in spinal pain pathwaysAndrew ToddBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/N006119/1INP - CENTRE FOR NEUROSCIENCE