Primary afferent central terminal
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Degeneration of primary afferent central terminals (C-terminals) that contact neuronal soma in the substantia gelatinosa of the spinal dorsal horn was examined by electron microscopy 2 h after s.c. injection of capsaicin into newborn and adult mice. The C-terminals were small, dark, sinuous or slender terminals with clear synaptic vesicles in the early postnatal period. They are thought to develop into scalloped CI-terminals, surrounded by dendrites and a few axonal endings, forming synaptic glomeruli. The same type of nonglomerular terminals making presynaptic contacts with neuronal soma showed degeneration in both the newborn and adult animals, and were identified as capsaicin-sensitive CI-terminals. This finding suggests that capsaicin-sensitive C-fibers have a modulatory role on their own nociceptive input besides functioning in nociceptive transmission in the substantia gelatinosa.
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