Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Inflammation, Amplification, and Aggravation

Science's STKE  20 Jun 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 340, pp. tw209
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3402006tw209

Many details about how inflammatory pain is amplified at the spinal dorsal horn have been uncovered in recent years, but a unifying cellular model is still missing. Ikeda et al. identified a synaptic pain amplifier that is turned on by low-frequency conditioning stimulation and by natural noxious stimulation. In vivo, a low-frequency afferent barrage can raise Ca2+ concentration in nociceptive spinal cord neurons sufficiently to induce long-term potentiation. This process causes amplification of pain-related information at the first synapse in pain pathways.

H. Ikeda, J. Stark, H. Fischer, M. Wagner, R. Drdla, T. Jäger, J. Sandkühler, Synaptic amplifier of inflammatory pain in the spinal dorsal horn. Science 312, 1659-1662 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]