Author(s): Takahashi Y, Ohtori S, Takahashi K
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Referred pain due to lumbar disc disorders can be analyzed using the stereoscopic structure of the peripheral sensory nervous system. The rostrocaudal structure has been clarified. The dorsoventral structure of the lumbar spine would be useful for mapping areas of pain perception in spinal disorders. METHODS: The neurotracer 1,1-dioctadecyl-3,3,3,3-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI) was applied to the lateral portion of the L5/6 intervertebral disc in rats to examine the dorsoventral organization of the sensory nervous system in the lumbar spine and related tissues. Fluorogold (FG) was applied to reference sites located at the spinous process of the L5 vertebra, the L5/6 facet joint, the psoas muscle at the L5 level, or the rectus abdominis muscle at the pubic symphysis. FG was also applied to the lateral portion of the disc (DiI application site) at L5 or at the L5 level as controls for the double labeling. Labeled neurons were counted in dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) from L1 through L4. RESULTS: The proportion of neurons double-labeled with DiI and FG in the total number of DiI-labeled and FG-labeled neurons was 32.9\% in the control group; 0\% in the spinous process, 0.6\% in the facet joint, 2.3\% in the psoas muscle, and 0.1\% in the rectus abdominis muscle. DRG neurons with dichotomizing afferent fibers were most prevalent (2.3\%) between the lateral disc and the psoas muscle at the groin; they were rare or absent between the disc and other reference sites. CONCLUSIONS: Dorsoventral organization of the primary sensory system in the lumbar body trunk was suggested from the proportion of DRG neurons with dichotomizing afferent fibers innervating the lumbar disc and other tissues. The present findings provide a pathomechanism of groin referred pain in lumbar disc disorders.
This article was published in J Orthop Sci
and referenced in Journal of Pain & Relief