Inflammation-induced upregulation of NK1 receptor mRNA in dorsal horn neurones

Neuroreport. 1993 Aug;4(8):1007-10. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199308000-00003.


The expression of the neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor (i.e. substance P receptor) gene in spinal cord was studied in rats subjected to unilateral inflammation by semi-quantitative in situ hybridization analysis. Low levels of NK1 receptor mRNA were detected in many neurones throughout the grey matter. Relatively strong labelling was observed in large motoneurones and a subpopulation of superficial dorsal horn neurones. Six days after Freund's adjuvant-induced unilateral hindpaw inflammation, NK1 receptor mRNA levels in lamina I/II of the dorsal horn ipsilateral to the inflamed paw increased almost two fold compared with the contralateral side. These data suggest an inflammation-induced increase of NK1 receptor synthesis in intrinsic spinal cord neurones involved in nociceptive neurotransmission.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Hindlimb
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Neurokinin-1 / genetics*
  • Spinal Cord / cytology
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*
  • Up-Regulation*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Neurokinin-1