alexa Morphological basis for back pain: the demonstration of nerve fibers and neuropeptides in the lumbar facet joint capsule but not in ligamentum flavum.


Journal of Pain & Relief

Author(s): Ashton IK, Ashton BA, Gibson SJ, Polak JM, Jaffray DC,

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Abstract The innervation of lumbar facet capsule and ligamentum flavum was investigated using antisera to a general neuronal marker protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 and to peptide markers of sensory nerves (calcitonin gene-related peptide [CGRP] and substance P) and autonomic nerves (vasoactive intestinal polypeptide [VIP] and C-flanking peptide of neuropeptide Y [CPON]). In the facet capsule (n = 14), PGP 9.5 and CGRP-immunoreactive nerves occurred in 12 and five specimens, respectively, both around blood vessels and as free fibers in the stroma. Free fibers immunoreactive for substance P or VIP were noted in three and five specimens, whereas in nine specimens there were CPON-immunoreactive nerves located perivascularly. There was no immunoreactivity in the ligamentum flavum. This study provides further evidence that the facet capsule but not the ligamentum flavum has substantial innervation by sensory and autonomic nerve fibers and has a structural basis for pain perception. This article was published in J Orthop Res and referenced in Journal of Pain & Relief

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