The time course of serotonin 2A receptor expression after spinal transection of rats: an immunohistochemical study

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Hyperexcitability of motoneurons is one of the key mechanism that has been demonstrated to underlie the pathogenesis of spasticity after spinal injury. Serotonin (5-HT) denervation supersensitivity is one of the mechanisms underlying this increased motoneuron excitability. In this study, to examine whether the supersensitivity is caused by 5-HT receptor upregulation we investigated changes in levels of 5-HT2A receptor immunoreactivity (5-HT2AR-IR) following a spinal transection in the sacral spinal cord of rats at seven different time points post injury: 2, 8, 16 h, and 1, 2, 7 and 28 days, respectively. 5-HT2AR-IR density was analyzed in motoneurons (regions containing their somata and dendrites) in the spinal segments below the lesion. The results showed no significant changes in 5-HT2AR-IR in the motoneurons up to 16 h following the transection. After 1-day, however the levels of 5-HT2AR-IR increased in the motoneurons and their dendrites, with the density level being 3.4-fold higher in spinalized rats than in sham-operated rats. The upregulation increased progressively until a maximal level was reached at 28 days post-injury. We also investigated 5-HT and 5-HT transporter expressions at five different post injury time points: 1, 2, 7, 21 and 60 days and they showed concurrent down-regulation changes after 2 days. These results suggest that the upregulation of 5-HT2ARs may at least partly underlie the development of 5-HT denervation supersensitivity in spinal motoneurons following spinal injury and thereby implicates their involvement in the pathogenesis of the subsequent development of spasticity.
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)114-126
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2011

Bibliografisk note

CURIS 2011 5200 031

ID: 32902587