Antisense ablation of type I metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR1 inhibits spinal nociceptive transmission

M R Young, G Blackburn-Munro, T Dickinson, M J Johnson, H Anderson, I Nakalembe, S M Fleetwood-Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Electrophysiological and behavioral studies point to a role of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR1 and mGluR5) in mediating spinal nociceptive responses in rats. However, antagonists with a high degree of specificity for each of these sites are not yet available. We, therefore, examined the effects of antisense deletion of spinal mGluR1 expression in assays of behavioral analgesia and of electrophysiological responses of dorsal horn neurons. Rats treated with an mGluR1 antisense oligonucleotide reagent, delivered continuously to the intrathecal space of the lumbar spinal cord, developed marked analgesia as measured by an increase in the latency to tail-flick (55 degreesC) over a period of 4-7 d. This correlated with a selective reduction in mGluR1, but not mGluR5, immunoreactivity in the superficial dorsal horn compared with untreated control rats, in parallel with a significant reduction in the proportion of neurons activated by the mGluR group I agonist 3, 5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG), whereas the proportion of cells excited by the mGluR5 agonist, trans-azetidine-2,4-dicarboxylic acid (t-ADA) remained unaffected. In contrast, rats treated with mGluR1 sense or mismatch probes showed none of these changes compared with untreated, control rats. Furthermore, multireceptive dorsal horn neurons in mGluR1 antisense-treated rats were strongly excited by innocuous stimuli to their peripheral receptive fields, but showed severe reductions in their sustained excitatory responses to the selective C-fiber activator mustard oil and in responses to DHPG.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10180-8
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1998

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Antisense Elements (Genetics)
  • Azetidinecarboxylic Acid
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Electrophysiology
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists
  • Gene Deletion
  • Glycine
  • Male
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Mutagenesis
  • Nociceptors
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • Resorcinols
  • Spinal Cord
  • Synaptic Transmission


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