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Convergence of cutaneous, muscular and visceral noxious inputs onto ventromedial thalamic neurons in rat.

Abstract : We have recently described a population of neurons in the lateral part of the ventromedial thalamus (VMl), that respond exclusively to noxious cutaneous stimuli, regardless of which part of the body is stimulated. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the convergence of cutaneous, muscular and visceral noxious inputs onto single, VMl neurons in anesthetized rats. VMl neurons were characterized by their responses to Adelta- and C-fiber activation as well as noxious heat applied to the hindpaw. We investigated whether they responded also to colorectal distensions. In an additional series of experiments, we tested the effects of colorectal, intraperitoneal, intramuscular and subcutaneous applications of the chemical irritant mustard oil (MO). The present study shows that a population of neurons located within the thalamic VMl nucleus, carries nociceptive somatosensory signals from the entire body. All these neurons responded to noxious cutaneous and intramuscular stimuli but not to levels of distension that could be considered innocuous or noxious, of the intact and inflammed colon and rectum. Although colorectal distension did not elicit VMl responses, convergence of visceral as well as muscle and cutaneous nociceptors was demonstrated by the increases in ongoing (background) discharges following intracolonic MO. A distinct effect is seen after MO injection into the lumen of the colon: an increase in ongoing activity for 15min but still a lack of effect of colorectal distension. Moreover, following inflammation induced by subcutaneous injections of MO VMl neurons developed responses to both thermal and mechanical innocuous skin stimulation, reminiscent of allodynia phenomena. It is suggested that the VMl contributes to attentional aspects of nociceptive processing and/or to the integration of widespread noxious events in terms of the appropriate potential motor responses.
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Contributor : Therese Ghembaza <>
Submitted on : Monday, June 12, 2006 - 11:55:14 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 1:30:07 PM



L. Monconduit, L. Bourgeais, Jf Bernard, L. Villanueva. Convergence of cutaneous, muscular and visceral noxious inputs onto ventromedial thalamic neurons in rat.. PAIN, Elsevier, 2003, 103, pp.83-91. ⟨10.1016/s0304-3959(02)00418-9⟩. ⟨hal-00079329⟩



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