Primary sensory neurones: neurofilament, neuropeptides, and conduction velocity

Brain Res Bull. 1993;30(3-4):239-43. doi: 10.1016/0361-9230(93)90250-f.


This paper reviews and provides new data on the relationship of the peptide content in rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons to a) the neurofilament content of the soma and b) the conduction velocities of the fibres. The latter involved intracellular recordings made in vitro followed by dye injection and immunocytochemistry. Because neurofilament-poor DRG neurones have C-fibres, and A-fibre neurones are neurofilament rich, the soma neurofilament content of peptide containing neurones allowed predictions to be made about their conduction velocity ranges. Substance P-like immunoreactive (SP-LI) neurones were mostly small, neurofilament poor, but a few (15%) were neurofilament rich. From conduction velocity measurements, about half the C-fibre neurones studied and 10% of A delta-neurones but no A alpha/beta-neurones showed SP-LI. CGRP-LI neurones were also mainly neurofilament poor neurones, but 32% were neurofilament rich, including small, medium, and large neurones. Fibres of CGRP-LI neurones conducted in the C, A delta or A alpha/beta ranges. Neurones with somatostatin-LI (SOM-LI) were all neurofilament poor; preliminary data is consistent with SOM-LI neurones having C-fibres.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / analysis
  • Intermediate Filaments / chemistry*
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology*
  • Neural Conduction / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / chemistry
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Neuropeptides / analysis*
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Rats
  • Somatostatin
  • Substance P / analysis


  • Neuropeptides
  • Peptides
  • somatostatin-like peptides
  • Substance P
  • Somatostatin
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide