AMPA and NMDA receptor-dependent spinal LTP after nociceptive tetanic stimulation

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Abstract

LTP is often studied as a model of synaptic plasticity. Plasticity in pain control systems may involve mechanisms similar to those involved in learning. We recently reported LTP of both the Aβ and C-fibre evoked responses of single dorsal horn neurons after a tetanic stimulation of the sciatic nerve, lasting for at least 6 h. In the present paper we show that identical stimulation induced LTP only of the C-fibre evoked response after blockade of muscular contractions during the tetanus. The C-fibre evoked response increased significantly less after pretreatment with either the AMPA antagonist NBQX or the NMDA antagonist D-AP5 (mean increase 33%) than in untreated animals (105%, p < 0.001), indicating that both AMPA and NMDA receptor stimulation are involved in the induction of LTP.

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