Glutamate-induced sensitization of rat masseter muscle fibers.
SourceNeuroscience, 109, 2, (2002), pp. 389-399
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectBiomedical Magnetic Resonance; Biomedische Magnetische Resonantie
In rats, intradermal or intraarticular injection of glutamate or selective excitatory amino acid receptor agonists acting at peripheral excitatory amino acid receptors can decrease the intensity of mechanical stimulation required to evoke nocifensive behaviors, an indication of hyperalgesia. Since excitatory amino acid receptors have been found on the terminal ends of cutaneous primary afferent fibers, it has been suggested that increased tissue glutamate levels may have a direct sensitizing effect on primary afferent fibers, in particular skin nociceptors. However, less is known about the effects of glutamate on deep tissue afferent fibers. In the present study, a series of experiments were undertaken to investigate the effect of intramuscular injection of glutamate on the excitability and mechanical threshold of masseter muscle afferent fibers in anesthetized rats of both sexes.Injection of 1.0 M, but not 0.1 M glutamate evoked masseter muscle afferent activity that was significantly greater than that evoked by isotonic saline. The mechanical threshold of masseter muscle afferent fibers, which was assessed with a Von Frey hair, was reduced by approximately 50% for a period of 30 min after injection of 1.0 M glutamate, but was unaffected by injections of 0.1 M glutamate or isotonic saline. Injection of 25% dextrose, which has the same osmotic strength as 1.0 M glutamate, did not evoke significant activity in or decrease the mechanical threshold of masseter muscle afferent fibers. Magnetic resonance imaging experiments confirmed that injection of 25% dextrose and 1.0 M glutamate produced similar edema volumes in the masseter muscle tissue. Co-injection of 0.1 M kynurenate, an excitatory amino acid receptor antagonist, and 1.0 M glutamate attenuated glutamate-evoked afferent activity and prevented glutamate-induced mechanical sensitization. When male and female rats were compared, no difference in the baseline mechanical threshold or in the magnitude of glutamate-induced mechanical sensitization of masseter muscle afferent fibers was observed; however, the afferent fiber activity evoked by injection of 1.0 M glutamate into the masseter muscle was greater in female rats.The results of the present experiments show that intramuscular injection of 1.0 M glutamate excites and sensitizes rat masseter muscle afferent fibers through activation of peripheral excitatory amino acid receptors and that glutamate-evoked afferent fiber activity, but not sensitization, is greater in female than male rats.
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