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Physiological properties of mouse skin sensory neurons recorded intracellularly in vivo: temperature effects on somal membrane properties.

Authors
  • Boada, M Danilo
  • Woodbury, C Jeffery
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of neurophysiology
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2007
Volume
98
Issue
2
Pages
668–680
Identifiers
PMID: 17537905
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Recent combined analyses of the structural, functional, and molecular attributes of individual skin sensory neurons using semi-intact in vitro preparations from mice have provided a wealth of novel insights into nociceptor biology. How these findings translate to more natural conditions nevertheless remains unresolved. Toward this end, intracellular recordings were obtained from 362 physiologically identified dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons in a new in vivo mouse preparation developed for combined structure/function analyses of individual skin sensory neurons. Recordings were conducted at thoracic levels in adult decorticate mice for comparison with in vitro findings from the same trunk region. In all, 270 neurons were recorded at DRG temperatures tightly regulated at normal core values to establish a baseline and 137 skin sensory neurons were included in detailed analyses of somal properties for comparisons with similar data obtained under reduced temperatures mirroring in vitro conditions. Recovery of Neurobiotin-labeled central projections was crucial for verifying perceived afferent identity of certain neurons. Further, profound temperature dependency was seen across diverse physiological properties. Indeed, the broad, inflected somal spikes normally viewed as diagnostic of myelinated nociceptors were found to be a product of reduced temperatures and were not present at normal core values. Moreover, greater complexity was observed peripherally in the mechanical and thermal sensitivity profile of nociceptive and nonnociceptive populations than that seen under in vitro conditions. This novel in vivo preparation therefore holds considerable promise for future analyses of nociceptor function and plasticity in normal and transgenic models of pain mechanisms.

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