Nerve growth factor selectively decreases activity-dependent conduction slowing in mechano-insensitive C-nociceptors

Otilia Obreja, Matthias Ringkamp, Brian Turnquist, Michael Hirth, Elmar Forsch, Roman Rukwied, Marlen Petersen, Martin Schmelz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nerve growth factor (NGF) induces acute sensitization of nociceptive sensory endings and long-lasting hyperalgesia. NGF modulation of sodium channel expression might contribute to neurotrophin-induced hyperalgesia. Here, we investigated NGF-evoked changes of the activity-dependent slowing of conduction in porcine C-fibers. Animals received intradermal injections of NGF (2 μg or 8 μg) or saline in both hind limbs. Extracellular recordings from the saphenous nerves were performed 1 week later. Based on sensory thresholds and electrically induced activity-dependent slowing (ADS) of axonal conduction, C-fibers were classified as mechano-sensitive afferents, mechano-insensitive afferents, cold nociceptors, and sympathetic efferents. NGF (2 μg) increased conduction velocity in C-fibers from 1.0 ± 0.05 m/s to 1.2 ± 0.07 m/s. In mechano-insensitive afferents, NGF (8 μg) reduced activity-dependent slowing of conduction, from 5.3 ± 0.2% to 3.2 ± 0.5% (0.125-0.5 Hz stimulation) and from 28.5 ± 1.3% to 20.9 ± 1.9% (2 Hz stimulation), such that ADS no longer differentiated between mechano-sensitive and mechano-insensitive fibers. Accordingly, the number of fibers with pronounced ADS decreased but more units with pronounced ADS were mechano-sensitive. Spontaneously active C-fibers were increased above the control level (1%) by NGF 8 μg (8%). The results demonstrate that NGF changes the functional axonal characteristics of mechano-insensitive C-fibers and enhances spontaneous activity thereby possibly contributing to hyperalgesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2138-2146
Number of pages9
JournalPain
Volume152
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Fingerprint

Nociceptors
Nerve Growth Factor
Unmyelinated Nerve Fibers
Hyperalgesia
Neurotrophin 3
Sensory Thresholds
Intradermal Injections
Sodium Channels
Nerve Growth Factors
Swine
Extremities

Keywords

  • Activity-dependent slowing
  • Conduction velocity
  • Growth factors
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Mechano-insensitive afferents
  • Pain
  • Pig

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Pharmacology

Cite this

Nerve growth factor selectively decreases activity-dependent conduction slowing in mechano-insensitive C-nociceptors. / Obreja, Otilia; Ringkamp, Matthias; Turnquist, Brian; Hirth, Michael; Forsch, Elmar; Rukwied, Roman; Petersen, Marlen; Schmelz, Martin.

In: Pain, Vol. 152, No. 9, 09.2011, p. 2138-2146.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Obreja, O, Ringkamp, M, Turnquist, B, Hirth, M, Forsch, E, Rukwied, R, Petersen, M & Schmelz, M 2011, 'Nerve growth factor selectively decreases activity-dependent conduction slowing in mechano-insensitive C-nociceptors', Pain, vol. 152, no. 9, pp. 2138-2146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pain.2011.05.021
Obreja, Otilia ; Ringkamp, Matthias ; Turnquist, Brian ; Hirth, Michael ; Forsch, Elmar ; Rukwied, Roman ; Petersen, Marlen ; Schmelz, Martin. / Nerve growth factor selectively decreases activity-dependent conduction slowing in mechano-insensitive C-nociceptors. In: Pain. 2011 ; Vol. 152, No. 9. pp. 2138-2146.
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