Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide (CART) is present in peptidergic C primary afferents and axons of excitatory interneurons with a possible role in nociception in the superficial laminae of the rat spinal cord

Márk Kozsurek, Erika Lukácsi, Csaba Fekete, Gábor Wittmann, Miklós Réthelyi, Zita Puskár

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptides (CART) have been implicated in the regulation of several physiological functions, including pain transmission. A dense plexus of CART-immunoreactive fibres has been described in the superficial laminae of the spinal cord, which are key areas in sensory information and pain processing. In this study, we used antibody against CART peptide, together with markers for various types of primary afferents, interneurons and descending systems to determine the origin of the CART-immunoreactive axons in the superficial laminae of the rat spinal cord. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a marker for peptidergic primary afferents in the dorsal horn, was present in 72.6% and 34.8% of CART-immunoreactive axons in lamina I and II, respectively. The majority of these fibres also contained substance P (SP), while a few were somatostatin (SOM)-positive. The other subpopulation of CART-immunoreactive boutons in lamina I and II also expressed SP and/or SOM without CGRP, but contained vesicular glutamate transporter 2, which is present mainly in excitatory interneuronal terminals. Our data demonstrate that the majority of CART-immunoreactive axons in the spinal dorsal horn originate from peptidergic nociceptive primary afferents, while the rest arise from excitatory interneurons that contain SP or SOM. This strongly suggests that CART peptide can affect glutamatergic neurotransmission as well as the release and effects of SP and SOM in nociception and other sensory processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1624-1631
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume26
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2007

Keywords

  • Confocal microscopy
  • Pain
  • Somatostatin
  • Substance P

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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