After trigeminal rhizotomy, some substance P-like immunoreactive (SP-LI) fibers and terminals in the spinal trigeminal caudal subnucleus (Vc), specially in its superficial laminae (laminae I and II), still remained in the rat. Employing a combination of Fluoro-Gold retrograde tracing and immunofluorescence histochemical staining for SP, we found that the main central origins of these SP-LI fibers and terminals were midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG), nucleus raphe magnus (NRM) and other raphe nuclei, and nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis pars α; all of them are important structures of the endogenous pain control system. The present results provided morphological evidence for PAG or NRM stimulation could inhibit neuronal activities in the Vc evoked by orofacial nociceptive stimulation and also suggested that SP might be an important neurotransmitter or neuromodulator for endogenous pain control system.
Brain Research – Elsevier
Published: May 6, 1996
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