Plasticity in α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor subunits in the rat dorsal horn following deafferentation

Susan M. Carlton, Gregory L. Hargett, Richard E. Coggeshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Immunostaining for GluR1 and GluR2/3 subunits of the α-amino-3-hydroxy- 5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor is prominent in laminae I and II of the normal dorsal horn, with much less staining in deeper laminae. Three days after dorsal rhizotomy, image analysis demonstrates a significant decrease in staining density for both antibodies in the superficial dorsal horn. By contrast, staining density is significantly increased in laminae III, IV and the reticulated region of lamina V for GluR1 only. This increase suggests that AMPA receptors contribute to deafferentation or radicular pain by at least two mechanisms: (1) up-regulation of GluR1 subunits of the AMPA receptor in deeper laminae, and (2) enhanced Ca2+ permeability of dorsal horn neurons because AMPA receptors lacking the GluR2 subunit are Ca2+ permeable. Glutamate activation of these receptors could initiate or potentiate second messenger cascades that could well contribute to neuronal changes documented in the dorsal horn of deafferented animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-24
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 6 1998



  • Deafferentation
  • GluR1
  • GluR2/3
  • Primary afferent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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