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Title: Steroid regulation of neuropeptides in sensory neurons
Author: Smith, Gary D.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1992
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Primary afferent neurons with perikarya in the dorsal root ganglia (drg) mediate the transmission of sensory information from the periphery and viscera to the spinal cord. A number of neuropeptides, including substance P (SP), somatostatin (SS) and calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) have been localised in discrete but often overlapping subpopulations of drg neurons. These neuropeptides have been implicated in nociception and neurogenic inflammation, both processes which can be influenced by steroid hormones. Whilst steroid hormones have been shown to regulate synthesis of a number of neuropeptides including SP, SS and CGRP in the central nervous system, it is not known if they influence neuropeptides in the drg. In this thesis I have investigated the regulation of SP, SS and CGRP by steroids in vivo and in dissociated primary cultures of adult drg neurons. The SP, SS and CGRP content of drg from C1 to L6 was determined and a differential distribution of the three neuropeptides was found. Drg wet weight and SP content were greatest in drg from the cervical (C6 - T1) and lumbar (L4 - L6) enlargements. CGRP content tended to be greater in drg from more caudal areas (T10 - L6) and SS content was uniform in most drg but was notably lower in drg from area C5 - C7. The regulation of neuropeptides in the drg by two classes of steroid, adrenal steroids and androgens, was investigated. Adrenalectomy (ADX) of adult male Wistar rats increased SP and CGRP and decreased SS content of cervical drg. The effects of ADX were reversed by subcutaneous implantation of pellets containing corticosterone (B) or by daily subcutaneous injection of dexamethasone (DEX). The neuropeptide content of drg was not regulated by androgens; no significant change in the SP, SS or CGRP contents of drg were found following castration or administration of supraphysiological testosterone.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available