Organization of intralaminar and translaminar neuronal connectivity in the superficial spinal dorsal horn.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The spinal dorsal horn exhibits a high degree of intrinsic connectivity that is critical to its role in the processing of nociceptive information. To examine the spatial organization of this intrinsic connectivity, we used laser-scanning photostimulation in parasagittal and transverse slices of lumbar spinal cord to stimulate presynaptic neurons by glutamate uncaging, and mapped the location of sites that provide excitatory and inhibitory synaptic input to neurons of the superficial laminae. Excitatory interneuronal connectivity within lamina II exhibited a pronounced sagittal orientation, in keeping with the somatotopic organization present in the pattern of primary afferent projections. Excitatory inputs to all classes of lamina II neurons arose from a wider rostrocaudal area than inhibitory inputs, whereas both excitatory and inhibitory input zones were restricted mediolaterally. Lamina I-II neurons exhibited cell type-specific patterns in the laminar distribution of their excitatory inputs that were related to their dorsoventral dendritic expanse. All cell types received excitatory input predominantly from positions ventral to that of their soma, but in lamina I neurons and lamina II vertical cells this ventral displacement of the excitatory input zone was greater than in the other cell types, resulting in a more pronounced translaminar input pattern. A previously unknown excitatory input to the superficial dorsal horn from lamina III-IV was identified in a subset of the vertical cell population. These results reveal a specific three-dimensional organization in the local patterns of excitatory and inhibitory connectivity that has implications for the processing of information related to both somatotopy and sensory modality.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kato, G; Kawasaki, Y; Koga, K; Uta, D; Kosugi, M; Yasaka, T; Yoshimura, M; Ji, R-R; Strassman, AM

Published Date

  • April 22, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 29 / 16

Start / End Page

  • 5088 - 5099

PubMed ID

  • 19386904

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2777732

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1529-2401

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6175-08.2009


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States