Capsaicin-evoked substance P release in rat dorsal horn increases after peripheral inflammation: A microdialysis study

Abdullahi Warsame Afrah, Henrik Gustafsson, Leif Olgart, Ernst Brodin, Carl Olav Stiller, Bradley K. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Numerous in vitro studies suggest that inflammation is associated with enhanced release of substance P (SP) in the dorsal horn. To test the hypothesis that inflammation increases the evoked concentration of SP in the intact animal, we used in vivo microdialysis with a highly sensitive radioimmunoassay to monitor SP-like immunoreactivity (SP-LI) in the dorsal horn. Seven days after the induction of persistent unilateral inflammation with hindpaw injection of complete Freund's adjuvant, perfusion of the microdialysis probe with 10 μM capsaicin (a concentration which failed to induce SP-LI release in rats without inflammation) induced a significant increase of microdialysate SP-LI. Inclusion of an NMDA antagonist in the perfusion fluid completely blocked this capsaicin-evoked SP release. Administration of a five-fold higher dose of capsaicin did not further increase SP release. These results in a rat model of chronic arthritis suggest that persistent inflammatory signaling facilitates capsaicin-evoked SP release in the dorsal horn in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-230
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 23 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by NIH grants DA10356 and NS45954 to B.K.T., the Swedish Medical Research Council 6836, Magnus Bergvalls Stiftelse, the Swedish Society of Medicine, the Karolinska Institute and Tulane University. We thank Annika Olsson for excellent technical assistance with the RIAs.


  • Capsaicin
  • Inflammation
  • Microdialysis
  • NMDA
  • Pain
  • Spinal cord
  • Substance P


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