Sensory neurotoxins: Chemically induced selective destruction of primary sensory neurons

Gábor Jancsó, Elizabeth Király

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neonatal capsaicin treatment has been shown to cause selective degeneration of chemosensitive primary sensory neurons involved in the mediation of chemogenic pain and in neurogenic inflammatory responses. In the present study the neurotoxic effect of capsaicin congeners was investigated in the newborn rat. Some quantitative data on the selective neurotoxic action of capsaicin are also reported. Electron microscopy indicates that some pungent congeners of capsaicin also induce the selective degeneration of type 'B' sensory ganglion cells. At high doses the distribution pattern of axon terminal degeneration within the spinal cord and brain stem was equivalent to that observed after neonatal capsaicin treatment. The neurotoxic potency of capsaicin congeners, unlike desensitizing activity, is closely related to the sensory irritant property of these compounds. It is concluded that primary sensory neurons degenerating after the administration of these capsaicin congeners may correspond to substance P-containing chemosensitive primary sensory neurons involved in the transmission of nociceptive impulses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalBrain research
Volume210
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 6 1981

Keywords

  • capsaicin
  • chemosensitive primary sensory neurons
  • nociception
  • pungent agents
  • sensory neurotoxins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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