Spinal cord NMDA receptors modulate peripheral immune responses and spinal cord c-fos expression after immune challenge in rats subjected to unilateral mononeuropathy

Uri Herzberg, Michael P. Murtaugh, Dianne Carroll, Alvin J. Beitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

To characterize further the neural involvement in local immune reactions, we evaluated the effect of intrathecal NMDA-receptor blocker dizocilpine maleate (MK-801) on the peripheral immune response itself and on spinal cord c-fos expression induced by the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response. Immune challenge took place in the hind paw ipsilateral or contralateral to an injured sciatic nerve in both previously sensitized and immune-naive animals. An enhanced immune response was observed bilaterally in the hind paws of animals subjected to unilateral mononeuropathy compared with sham- operated controls. In contrast, no such enhancement was observed when neuropathic animals were challenged in the front paws. The increased DTH response was blocked successfully by the intrathecal administration of an analgesic dose of MK-801. Compared with sham-operated animals, animals subjected to unilateral mononeuropathy showed both a differential distribution and an increase in the number of c-fos-labeled neurons in the dorsal horn of the L3-L5 spinal cord segments after immune challenge. This was observed irrespective of whether the challenge took place ipsilateral or contralateral to the injured nerve. In addition to reversing the changes in immune response, intrathecal administration of MK-801 reversed the pattern of c-los immunoreactivity in the spinal cord after immune challenge in neuropathic animals. These data suggest that select groups of spinal cord neurons participate in enhancing the peripheral immune response to a specific anti gen in neuropathic animals and that this enhancement involves central NMDA receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-743
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 1996

Keywords

  • MK-801
  • NMDA
  • T lymphocytes
  • c-fos
  • immunity
  • mononeuropathy
  • pain

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