Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 289–296 | Cite as

Age alters the ability of substance P to sensitize joint nociceptors in Guinea pigs

Original Article


Pain perception is altered during senescence and it is thought that this could in part be due to changes in peripheral pain sensing processes. The present study examined the effect of substance P (SP) (10−10−10−8 mol; 0.1 mL bolus close intraarterial) on knee joint afferent mechanosensitivity in young (2- to 5-mo-old) and aged (17- to 36-mo-old) Dunkin-Hartley guinea pigs. Single unit electrophysiological recordings were made from knee joint primary afferent nerves in response to normal (nonnoxious) and painful (noxious) rotation of the joint. In young and old animals, local application of SP had a sensitizing effect on joint afferents in response to movements made in the normal working range of the knee. With noxious hyper-rotation of the joint, SP was able to increase afferent firing rate in young but not in old animals. These data demonstrate a lack of SP-mediated sensitization of joint nociceptors during senescence and suggest a peripheral deficiency in joint nociception with respect to age.

Index Entries

Age electrophysiology knee joint mechanosensory nerves neuropeptides nociception 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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