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Morphological and functional reorganization of rat medial prefrontal cortex in neuropathic pain
 

Summary: Morphological and functional reorganization of rat
medial prefrontal cortex in neuropathic pain
Alexia E. Metz1
, Hau-Jie Yau, Maria Virginia Centeno, A. Vania Apkarian, and Marco Martina2
Department of Physiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 303 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
Edited by Michael M. Merzenich, University of California, San Francisco, CA, and approved December 22, 2008 (received for review October 3, 2008)
Neuropathic pain is a chronic pain that results from lesion or
dysfunction of the nervous system. Depression and cognitive
decline are often coupled to chronic pain, suggesting the involve-
ment of cortical areas associated with higher cognitive functions.
We investigated layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in acute slices of the
contralateral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the rat spared
nerve injury (SNI) model of neuropathic pain and found morpho-
logical and functional differences between the mPFC of SNI and
sham-operated animals. Basal, but not apical, dendrites of neurons
from SNI rats are longer and have more branches than their
counterparts in sham-operated animals; spine density is also se-
lectively increased in basal dendrites of neurons from SNI rats; the
morphological changes are accompanied by increased contribution
to synaptic currents of the NMDA component. Interestingly, the

  

Source: Apkarian, A. Vania - Department of Physiology, Northwestern University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine