The effect of systemic nerve growth factor (NGF) on neuropeptide content and capsaicin-evoked release of neuropeptide from in vitro spinal cord dorsal horn slices was examined. Rats were injected subcutaneously every other day with murine NGF (mNGF) 1 mg/kg or saline for 7 days, or mNGF 0.1/kg, mNGF 1 mg/kg or saline for 13 days. Lumbar dorsal horn slices of the rat spinal cord from all groups showed a significant increase in immunoreactive calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) release upon exposure to capsaicin. This release was enhanced in rats pretreated with mNGF 1 mg/kg for 7 days, but not after 13 days. No enhancement was seen after 7 or 13 days in any treatment group for immunoreactive substance P release. Upon examination of neuropeptide content in dorsal horn, no significant differences were noted between treatment groups. The increased iCGRP release from dorsal horn slices suggests a preferential release of CGRP and provides further evidence that NGF indirectly plays a role in the modulation of inflammation through the regulation of neuropeptide release.
- Dorsal spinal cord
- Nerve growth factor