Chronic pain – when sensory afferents form aberrant connections

click the picture

Sensory neurons located in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) transmit information about painful and mechanical stimuli to the spinal cord from where it is further propagated to the brain. Some forms of chronic pain originate from the formation of aberrant connections between the sensory fibers from DRG neurons and the relay cells in the dorsal part of the spinal cord e.g. in response to severe injuries. In order to understand the mechanisms that underlie the formation of specific connections between DRG neurons and their target cells in the gray matter of the spinal cord, we study the molecular mechanisms of subpopulation-specific axonal navigation in the gray matter of the spinal cord.



Perrin, F.E., Rathjen, F.G., and Stoeckli, E.T. (2001) Distinct subpopulations of sensory afferents require F11 or axonin-1 for growth to their target layers within the spinal cord of the chick Neuron, 30: 707-723    pubmed