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Efferent functions of C-fiber nociceptors

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By Sann H, Pierau FK • www.ProHealth.com • March 5, 1998


C-fiber nociceptors not only serve afferent but also local efferent
functions. The local efferent functions, such as
vasodilatation, axon reflex flare reaction, plasma
extravasation, and modulation of neuronal activity, are
mediated via a local release of substance P, neurokinin A, and
calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from the peripheral
ending. CGRP is the main mediator of the capsaicin-induced
flare reaction in the mammalian skin (including humans). In
the pig skin the vasodilatation is due to activation of
specific heat nociceptors. In the pigeon, antidromic
vasodilatation is markedly inhibited by intrinsic galanin.
Plasma extravasation in the pig skin blister base or using
microdialysis can be evoked by histamine, but not by
electrical stimulation or capsaicin. The neurogenic component
of the histamine response (64%) appears to be mediated via NK2
receptors and can be modulated by CGRP. There is some evidence
that the neuropeptides can also sensitize or stimulate
nociceptors. Since in the fibromyalgia syndrome an increased
sensitivity of the flare reaction has been observed, the
hyperalgesia might be partly due to altered functions of
C-fiber nociceptors.




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