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Interactions Between Baclofen and DC-induced Plasticity of Afferent Fibers within the Spinal Cord

Journal article
Authors Francesco Bolzoni
R. Esposti
Elzbieta Jankowska
Ingela Hammar
Published in Neuroscience
Volume 404
Pages 119-129
ISSN 0306-4522
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 119-129
Language en
Keywords spinal cord, direct current polarization, spinal plasticity, baclofen, epidural stimulation, direct-current stimulation, synaptic transmission, excitability, polarization, (-)-baclofen, modulation, mechanisms, reduction, cortex, nerve, Neurosciences & Neurology, x s, 1978, neuroscience, v3, p495
Subject categories Neurosciences


The aims of the study were to compare effects of baclofen, a GABA(B) receptor agonist commonly used as an antispastic drug, on direct current (DC) evoked long-lasting changes in the excitability of afferent fibers traversing the dorsal columns and their terminal branches in the spinal cord, and to examine whether baclofen interferes with the development and expression of these changes. The experiments were performed on deeply anesthetized rats by analyzing the effects of DC before, during and following baclofen administration. Muscle and skin afferent fibers within the dorsal columns were stimulated epidurally and changes in their excitability were investigated following epidural polarization by 1.0-1.1 mu A subsequent to i.v. administration of baclofen. Epidural polarization increased the excitability of these fibers during post-polarization periods of at least 1 h. The facilitation was as potent as in preparations that were not pretreated with baclofen, indicating that the advantages of combining epidural polarization with epidural stimulation would not be endangered by pharmacological antispastic treatment with baclofen. In contrast, baclofen-reduced effects of intraspinal stimulation combined with intraspinal polarization (0.3 mu A) of terminal axonal branches of the afferents within the dorsal horn or in motor nuclei, whether administered ionophoretically or intravenously. Effects of DC on monosynaptically evoked synaptic actions of these fibers (extracellular field potentials) were likewise reduced by baclofen. The study thus provides further evidence for differential effects of DC on afferent fibers in the dorsal columns and the preterminal branches of these fibers and their involvement in spinal plasticity. (C) 2019 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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