Peripheral nerve injury triggers central sprouting of myelinated afferents

Clifford J. Woolf, Peter Shortland, Richard E. Coggeshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

889 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

THE central terminals of primary afferent neurons are topographically highly ordered in the spinal cord1. Peripheral receptor sensitivity is reflected by dorsal horn laminar location: low-threshold mechanoreceptors terminate in laminae III and IV (refs 2, 3) and high-threshold nociceptors in laminae I, II and V (refs 4, 5). Unmyelinated C fibres, most of which are nociceptors6, terminate predominantly in lamina II (refs 5, 7). There is therefore an anatomical framework for the transfer of specific inputs to localized subsets of dorsal horn neurons. This specificity must contribute to the relationship between a low-intensity stimulus and an innocuous sensation and a noxious stimulus and pain. We now show that after peripheral nerve injury the central terminals of axotomized myelinated afferents, including the large Aβ fibres, sprout into lamina II. This structural reorganization in the adult central nervous system may contribute to the development of the pain mediated by A-fibres that can follow nerve lesions in humans8,9.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-78
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume355
Issue number6355
StatePublished - Jan 2 1992

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Peripheral Nerve Injuries
Substantia Gelatinosa
Myelinated Nerve Fibers
Posterior Horn Cells
Afferent Neurons
Pain
Unmyelinated Nerve Fibers
Nociceptors
Mechanoreceptors
Central Nervous System
Spinal Cord Dorsal Horn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Woolf, C. J., Shortland, P., & Coggeshall, R. E. (1992). Peripheral nerve injury triggers central sprouting of myelinated afferents. Nature, 355(6355), 75-78.

Peripheral nerve injury triggers central sprouting of myelinated afferents. / Woolf, Clifford J.; Shortland, Peter; Coggeshall, Richard E.

In: Nature, Vol. 355, No. 6355, 02.01.1992, p. 75-78.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Woolf, CJ, Shortland, P & Coggeshall, RE 1992, 'Peripheral nerve injury triggers central sprouting of myelinated afferents', Nature, vol. 355, no. 6355, pp. 75-78.
Woolf CJ, Shortland P, Coggeshall RE. Peripheral nerve injury triggers central sprouting of myelinated afferents. Nature. 1992 Jan 2;355(6355):75-78.
Woolf, Clifford J. ; Shortland, Peter ; Coggeshall, Richard E. / Peripheral nerve injury triggers central sprouting of myelinated afferents. In: Nature. 1992 ; Vol. 355, No. 6355. pp. 75-78.
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