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Developmental learning in a pain-related system: Evidence for a cross-modality mechanism

Waldenström Ellervik, Alexandra LU ; Thelin, Jonas LU ; Thimansson, E; Levinsson, Anders LU and Schouenborg, Jens LU (2003) In Journal of Neuroscience 23(20). p.7719-7725
Abstract
The nociceptive spinal reflex system performs highly precise sensorimotor transformations that require functionally specified synaptic strengths. The specification is gradually attained during early development and appears to be learning dependent. Here we determine the time course of this specification for heat-nociceptive tail withdrawal reflexes and analyze which types of primary afferents are important for the learning by applying various forms of noninvasive sensory deprivations. The percentage of erroneous heat-nociceptive tail withdrawal reflexes (i.e., movements directed toward the stimulation) decreased gradually from 64.1 +/- 2.5% ( mean +/- SEM) to <10% during postnatal days 10-21. This improvement was completely blocked by... (More)
The nociceptive spinal reflex system performs highly precise sensorimotor transformations that require functionally specified synaptic strengths. The specification is gradually attained during early development and appears to be learning dependent. Here we determine the time course of this specification for heat-nociceptive tail withdrawal reflexes and analyze which types of primary afferents are important for the learning by applying various forms of noninvasive sensory deprivations. The percentage of erroneous heat-nociceptive tail withdrawal reflexes (i.e., movements directed toward the stimulation) decreased gradually from 64.1 +/- 2.5% ( mean +/- SEM) to <10% during postnatal days 10-21. This improvement was completely blocked by anesthetizing the tail during the adaptation period, confirming that an experience-dependent mechanism is involved in the specification of synaptic strengths. However, the results show that the adaptation occurs to a significant extent despite local analgesia and protection of the tail from noxious input, provided that tactile sensitivity is preserved. Therefore, it appears that a nociceptive input is not necessary for the adaptation, and that input from tactile receptors can be used to guide the nociceptive synaptic organization during development. Sensory deprivation in the adult rat failed to affect the heat-nociceptive withdrawal reflex system, indicating that the adaptation has a "critical period" during early development. These findings provide a key to the puzzle of how pain-related systems can be functionally adapted through experience despite the rare occurrence of noxious input during early life. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
cord, spinal, activity-dependent learning and memory, pain, somatosensory, development, sensorimotor transformation
in
Journal of Neuroscience
volume
23
issue
20
pages
7719 - 7725
publisher
Society for Neuroscience
external identifiers
  • pmid:12930812
  • wos:000184852600030
  • scopus:0042922760
ISSN
1529-2401
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3297cd52-b6f6-41be-af4e-672292709a2a (old id 303424)
alternative location
http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/content/abstract/23/20/7719
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12930812&dopt=Abstract
date added to LUP
2007-09-23 14:16:09
date last changed
2018-01-07 05:18:31
@article{3297cd52-b6f6-41be-af4e-672292709a2a,
  abstract     = {The nociceptive spinal reflex system performs highly precise sensorimotor transformations that require functionally specified synaptic strengths. The specification is gradually attained during early development and appears to be learning dependent. Here we determine the time course of this specification for heat-nociceptive tail withdrawal reflexes and analyze which types of primary afferents are important for the learning by applying various forms of noninvasive sensory deprivations. The percentage of erroneous heat-nociceptive tail withdrawal reflexes (i.e., movements directed toward the stimulation) decreased gradually from 64.1 +/- 2.5% ( mean +/- SEM) to &lt;10% during postnatal days 10-21. This improvement was completely blocked by anesthetizing the tail during the adaptation period, confirming that an experience-dependent mechanism is involved in the specification of synaptic strengths. However, the results show that the adaptation occurs to a significant extent despite local analgesia and protection of the tail from noxious input, provided that tactile sensitivity is preserved. Therefore, it appears that a nociceptive input is not necessary for the adaptation, and that input from tactile receptors can be used to guide the nociceptive synaptic organization during development. Sensory deprivation in the adult rat failed to affect the heat-nociceptive withdrawal reflex system, indicating that the adaptation has a "critical period" during early development. These findings provide a key to the puzzle of how pain-related systems can be functionally adapted through experience despite the rare occurrence of noxious input during early life.},
  author       = {Waldenström Ellervik, Alexandra and Thelin, Jonas and Thimansson, E and Levinsson, Anders and Schouenborg, Jens},
  issn         = {1529-2401},
  keyword      = {cord,spinal,activity-dependent learning and memory,pain,somatosensory,development,sensorimotor transformation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {20},
  pages        = {7719--7725},
  publisher    = {Society for Neuroscience},
  series       = {Journal of Neuroscience},
  title        = {Developmental learning in a pain-related system: Evidence for a cross-modality mechanism},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2003},
}