Author(s): Levine JD, Dardick SJ, Roizen MF, Helms C, Basbaum AI
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Abstract We used pharmacological and surgical methods to determine the contribution of several neural components to joint injury in rats with adjuvant-induced arthritis. Both neonatal administration of capsaicin, which eliminates small-diameter afferents, and peripheral sympathectomy, which depletes catecholamines, attenuated joint injury. In contrast, the arthritis was more severe in spontaneously hypertensive rats, which have increased sympathetic tone. To address the contribution of the central vs peripheral afferent terminal selectively, a group of rats underwent unilateral dorsal rhizotomy. These rats developed a more severe arthritis in the deafferented limb. The increase in arthritis severity produced by dorsal rhizotomy could be reduced by prior sympathectomy or, less effectively, by prior treatment with capsaicin. The latter observation suggests that large-diameter afferents that are cut during dorsal rhizotomy also influence inflammation. Finally, intracerebroventricular injection of morphine attenuated the severity of arthritis, possibly through activation of bulbospinal sympathoinhibitory circuits. Taken together, these data indicate that no one class of nerve fiber is wholly responsible for the neurogenic component of inflammation in experimental arthritis but that large- and small-diameter afferents, sympathetic efferents, and CNS circuits that modulate those fiber systems all influence the severity of joint injury in arthritic rats.
This article was published in J Neurosci
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology