Messenger plasticity in primary sensory neurons following axotomy and its functional implications

Trends Neurosci. 1994 Jan;17(1):22-30. doi: 10.1016/0166-2236(94)90031-0.


Following peripheral axotomy, long-lasting changes in the expression of neuropeptides and their receptors in primary sensory neurons are observed. These changes involve the downregulation of the excitatory peptides substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide and the upregulation of the inhibitory peptides neuropeptide tyrosine and galanin, resulting in a reduction of transmission in the dorsal horn. The changes observed are thought to represent adaptive responses to limit the consequences of peripheral nerve damage to the organism as a whole and to promote survival and recovery of the individual neuron.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Axons*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism*
  • Neuropeptides / biosynthesis*
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / genetics


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Nitric Oxide