Release, spread and persistence of immunoreactive neurokinin A in the dorsal horn of the cat following noxious cutaneous stimulation. Studies with antibody microprobes

Neuroscience. 1990;35(1):195-202. doi: 10.1016/0306-4522(90)90134-p.


In barbiturate anaesthetized spinal cats antibody microprobes were used to examine release of immunoreactive neurokinin A following cutaneous thermal and mechanical stimulation. In the absence of peripheral stimuli, microprobes detected a diffuse basal presence of immunoreactive neurokinin A. Noxious mechanical and to a lesser extent noxious thermal stimuli increased the levels of immunoreactive neurokinin A diffusely throughout the dorsal horn which, in many cases, spread into the adjacent white matter. These diffuse stimulus-evoked increases contrast with previous experiments where the same stimuli produced discrete focal increases in levels of immunoreactive substance P. Evidence was obtained that released immunoreactive neurokinin A persisted in the spinal cord for at least 30 min beyond the period of stimulation. Neurokinin A needs consideration as the agent responsible for the long-lasting increases in excitability of some spinal neurons found by several laboratories to follow a brief input from unmyelinated primary afferents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neurokinin A / metabolism*
  • Nociceptors / metabolism*
  • Nociceptors / physiology
  • Pain / metabolism*
  • Skin / innervation*
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord / physiopathology


  • Neurokinin A