Immunohistochemistry and radioimmunoassay (RIA) revealed that corticotropin releasing factor (CRF)-like immunoreactivity was found to be colocalized with substance P (SP)-, somatostatin (SST)- and leu-enkephalin (LENK)-like immunoreactivity in the dorsal root-and trigeminal ganglia, the dorsal horn of the spinal cord (laminae I and II), the substantia gelatinosa, and at the lateral border of the spinal nucleus and in the tractus spinalis of the trigeminal nerve. These peptides were also located in fast blue labeled cells of the trigeminal ganglion following injection of the dye into the spinal trigeminal area. This indicates that there are possible sensory projections of these peptides into the spinal trigeminal area. Capsaicin treatment of neonatal rats resulted in a marked decrease in the density of CRF-, SP-, VIP- and CCK-containing neurons in the above mentioned hindbrain areas, whereas SST- and LENK-immunoreactivity were not changed. RIA revealed that, compared to controls, CRF, SP and VIP concentrations in these areas were decreased in rats pretreated with capsaicin, while SST levels were increased; CCK and LENK levels were unchanged. It is concluded that the primary afferent neurons of the nucleus and tractus spinalis of the trigeminal nerve are richly endowed with a number of peptides some of which are sensitive to capsaicin action. The close anatomical proximity of these peptide containing neurons suggests the possibility of a coexistance of one or more of these substances.
- Corticotropin releasing factor
- Sensory ganglia
- Sensory neurons
- Substance P
- Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience