A gerincvelő felületes hátsó szarvi neuronhálózatok szerveződése és plaszticitása krónikus gyulladásos és neuropátiás fájdalom állapotokban

Vezető: 
Miklós Antal, MD, PhD, DSc
Tagok: 
Petkó, MD, PhD
Tagok: 
Krisztina Holló, PhD
Tagok: 
Ildikó Papp, PhD
Tagok: 
Zoltán Hegyi, MSc
Tagok: 
Zsófia Antal, MD
Tagok: 
Gréta Kis, MSc
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Technical staff:
Tagok: 
Mária Varga
Tagok: 
Krisztina Hegedüs
Tagok: 
Erzsébet Bakk
Tagok: 
Éva Papp

 

Major aims of research: Neural microcircuits of the superficial spinal dorsal horn represent the first relay station of the nociceptive sensory system. After local information processing, the nociceptive impulses are conveyed to cells of origin of ascending sensory pathways that transmit the impulses to higher brain centres, where these signals generate complex motivational-affective behaviours including acute pain. Peripheral tissue or nerve injuries and inflammations evoke long-lasting changes in spinal nociceptive-processing microcircuits and integrative properties of supraspinally projecting neurons. This activity-evoked plasticity results in the development of central sensitization that is thought to critically contribute to conditions of chronic pain and hyperalgesia. Our work is focused on two major aims: 1) Firstly, we would like to acquire an exhaustive understanding of fundamental aspects of the organization of neural microcircuits representing the first relay station in nociceptive sensory processing. We intend to study the structural, functional and molecular properties and synaptic relations of neurons in the superficial spinal dorsal horn by using a combination of high-resolution neuroanatomical, physiological and molecular biological techniques. 2) Secondly, in addition to studying the nociceptive mechanisms under normal conditions, we also intend to elucidate how information processing in nociceptive neural networks of the superficial spinal dorsal horn may change in inflammatory and neuropathic pain states. Experimental models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain are used to study the induced changes at molecular, cellular and network levels. With this integrative interdisciplinary research, we would like to provide new insights into the organization of pain processing spinal microcircuits, fundamental mechanisms of activity-evoked neural plasticity, chronic pain and hyperalgesia.To accomplish the major aims studies are recently focused onto the following objectives: (1) Processing of nociceptive signals by local neural circuits in the superficial spinal dorsal horn. (2) Synaptic transmission through GABAA and glycine receptors in the light of differential expression of KCC2 and NKCC1 co-transporters. (3) The role of endogenous cannabinoid mechanisms in the regulation of nociceptive information processing in the superficial spinal dorsal horn.(4) Communication pathways underlying signalling mechanisms between neurons and glial cells in the superficial spinal dorsal horn
 
 

The three most important publications from the last three years:

Antal, M., Fukazawa, Y., Eördögh, M., Muszil, D., Molnár, E., Itakura, M., Takahashi, M. and Shigemoto, R.: Numbers, densities and co-localization of AMPA- and NMDA-type glutamate receptors at individual synapses in the superficial spinal dorsal horn of rats. J. Neurosci., 28, 9692-9701 (2008)
Hegyi, Z., Kis, G., Holló, K., Ledent, C. and Antal, M.: Neuronal and glial localization of the cannabinoid-1 receptor in the superficial spinal dorsal horn of the rodent spinal cord. Eur. J. Neurosci., 30, 251-262 (2009)
Papp, I., Holló, K. and Antal, M.: Plasticity of hyperpolarization-activated and cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel subunit 2 expression in the spinal dorsal horn in inflammatory pain. Eur. J. Neurosci., 32, 1193-1201 (2010)
 
Expected results: With an integrative interdisciplinary research, we would like to provide new insights into the organization of pain processing spinal microcircuits, fundamental mechanisms of activity-evoked neural plasticity, chronic pain and hyperalgesia, and assist in developing effective therapeutic strategies for chronic pain syndromes.