Neural Plasticity / 2013 / Article / Fig 1

Review Article

Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors and Voltage-Gated Ca2+ Channels in Long-Term Potentiation of Spinal Dorsal Horn Synapses and Pain Hypersensitivity

Figure 1

A diagram modified from the gate control theory. Both primary afferent A and C fibers directly target the transmission system that conveys the pain signals from the spinal dorsal horn to the higher brain areas. However, both fibers differentially innervate to the substantia gelatinosa (SG) neurons in the spinal DH. Although polysynaptic inputs are possible in all SG neurons from primary afferent fibers and other SG neurons, monosynaptic inputs from A fibers reach the excitatory SG neurons (eSG) and the transmission-inhibiting SG neurons (tiSG), while those from C fibers only go into the inhibitory SG neurons (iSG), not the itSG directly. The tiSG neurons receive the excitatory synaptic inputs from the eSG and the inhibitory synaptic inputs from the iSG. The main function of tiSG is inhibiting the transmission system, both presynaptically (in the gate control theory) and postsynaptically (in this diagram). In this way, the activation and inhibition of SG neurons (here, called tiSG) by large-diameter and small-diameter fibers, respectively, are possible, shown in the gate control theory.

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