Functional plasticity in primate somatosensory thalamus following chronic lesion of the ventral lateral spinal cord

H. R. Weng, J. I. Lee, Frederick Lenz, A. Schwartz, C. Vierck, L. Rowland, P. M. Dougherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The long-term consequences of thoracic spinothalamic tract lesion on the physiological properties of neurons in the ventral posterior lateral nucleus of the thalamus in monkeys were assessed. Neurons responding to both compressive and phasic brush stimuli (multireceptive neurons), but not brush-specific (low-threshold) neurons, in the partially deafferented thalamus showed increased spontaneous activity, increased responses evoked by cutaneous stimuli and larger mean receptive field size than the same types of cells in the thalamus with intact innervation. The spike train properties of both the spontaneous and evoked discharges of cells were also altered so that there was an increased incidence of spike-bursts in cells of deafferented thalamus. These changes were widespread in the thalamus, and included cells in both the fully innervated forelimb representation and the partially denervated hindlimb representation ipsilateral to the lesion. The spontaneous and evoked spike trains in the ipsilateral thalamus also show increased frequency of both spike-burst and non-burst events compared to the intact thalamus. These results indicate that chronic spinothalamic tract lesion produces widespread changes in the physiological properties of a discrete cell population of the thalamus. The findings in this study indicate that the thalamic processing of somatosensory information conveyed by the lemniscal system is altered by transection of the spinothalamic tract. This change in sensory processing in the thalamus would result in altered cortical processing of innocuous somatosensory inputs following deafferentation and so possibly contribute to the generation of the central pain syndrome. (C) 2000 IBRO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-401
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroscience
Volume101
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 7 2000

Fingerprint

Thalamus
Primates
Spinal Cord
Spinothalamic Tracts
Ventral Thalamic Nuclei
Neurons
Posterior Thalamic Nuclei
Lateral Thalamic Nuclei
Forelimb
Hindlimb
Automatic Data Processing
Cell Size
Haplorhini
Thorax
Pain
Skin
Incidence
Population

Keywords

  • Central pain
  • Deafferentation
  • Monkey
  • Neuropathy
  • Spike train

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Functional plasticity in primate somatosensory thalamus following chronic lesion of the ventral lateral spinal cord. / Weng, H. R.; Lee, J. I.; Lenz, Frederick; Schwartz, A.; Vierck, C.; Rowland, L.; Dougherty, P. M.

In: Neuroscience, Vol. 101, No. 2, 07.11.2000, p. 393-401.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Weng, H. R. ; Lee, J. I. ; Lenz, Frederick ; Schwartz, A. ; Vierck, C. ; Rowland, L. ; Dougherty, P. M. / Functional plasticity in primate somatosensory thalamus following chronic lesion of the ventral lateral spinal cord. In: Neuroscience. 2000 ; Vol. 101, No. 2. pp. 393-401.
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