Substance P-expressing excitatory interneurons in the mouse superficial dorsal horn provide a propriospinal input to the lateral spinal nucleus

Gutierrez-Mecinas, M. , Polgár, E., Bell, A. M. , Hérau, M. and Todd, A. J. (2018) Substance P-expressing excitatory interneurons in the mouse superficial dorsal horn provide a propriospinal input to the lateral spinal nucleus. Brain Structure and Function, 223(5), pp. 2377-2392. (doi: 10.1007/s00429-018-1629-x) (PMID:29497838) (PMCID:PMC5968060)

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The superficial dorsal horn (laminae I and II) of the spinal cord contains numerous excitatory and inhibitory interneurons, and recent studies have shown that each of these groups can be divided into several neurochemically distinct populations. Although it has long been known that some neurons in this region have intersegmental (propriospinal) axonal projections, there have been conflicting reports concerning the number of propriospinal cells and the extent of their axons. In addition, little is known about the neurochemical phenotype of propriospinal neurons or about the termination pattern of their axons. In the present study we show, using retrograde tracing, that around a third of lamina I–II neurons in the lumbar enlargement project at least five segments cranially. Substance P-expressing excitatory neurons are over-represented among these cells, accounting for one-third of the propriospinal neurons. In contrast, inhibitory interneurons and excitatory PKCγ neurons are both under-represented among the retrogradely labelled cells. By combining viral vector-mediated Cre-dependent anterograde tracing with immunocytochemistry, we provide evidence that the lateral spinal nucleus (LSN), rather than the superficial dorsal horn, is the main target for axons belonging to propriospinal substance P-expressing neurons. These findings help to resolve the discrepancies between earlier studies and have implications for the role of the LSN in pain mechanisms.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hérau, Marine and Gutierrez-Mecinas, Dr Maria and Bell, Mr Andrew and Beresford-Polgar, Dr Erika and Todd, Professor Andrew
Authors: Gutierrez-Mecinas, M., Polgár, E., Bell, A. M., Hérau, M., and Todd, A. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Brain Structure and Function
ISSN (Online):1863-2661
Published Online:01 March 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Brain Structure and Function 223(5):2377-2392
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