The aim of this study was to demonstrate acute to subacute molecular episodes in the dorsal horn following root avulsion using immunohistochemical methods with the markers for synapses, astrocytes and such stress-responsive molecules as heat shock proteins (Hsps) and p38 MAP kinase (p38). Among them, Hsp27 was accumulated selectively in the injured substantia gelatinosa 24 h after avulsion injury. The localization of Hsp27 in astrocytes within the substantia gelatinosa was confirmed by the double immunofluorescence method using anti-Hsp27 antibody and either anti-synaptophysin antibody or anti-glutamine synthetase antibody and by immunoelectron microscopy for Hsp27. The pattern of Hsp27 expression subsequently changed from glial pattern to punctate pattern by 7 days. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed that the punctate pattern in the subacute stage corresponded to distal parts of the astrocytic processes. Hsp27 immunoreaction was decreased 21 days after root avulsion. In the distal axotomy model, Hsp27 was accumulated later in the ipsilateral dorsal horn in a punctate pattern from 7 days after the axotomy. Phosphorylation of p38 was detected in microglia in the dorsal horn following both avulsion and axotomy. Substance P was slightly decreased in the injured substantia gelatinosa in both the avulsion and axotomy models around 14-21 days. We conclude that Hsp27 is a useful marker for demonstrating dorsal horn lesions following avulsion injury and that avulsion injury may induce Hsp27 in the dorsal horn more rapidly than distal axotomy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology