The Effect of Unilateral Sympathectomy and Cavity Preparation on Peptidergic Nerves and Cells in Rat Dental Pulp
Authors: Haug, S.R.; Berggreen, E.; Heyeraas, K.J.
Source: Experimental Neurology, Volume 169, Number 1, May 2001 , pp. 182-190(9)
Publisher: Academic Press
Abstract:Recent evidence suggests interactions between primary afferent nociceptors and postganglionic sympathetic efferents in the pathogenesis of inflammation. The effect of unilateral removal of the superior cervical ganglion on the innervation pattern of nerve fibers immunoreactive (IR) to calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), substance P (SP), and neuropeptide Y (NPY), as well as the occurrence of cells in the injured and uninjured rat molar pulp, was investigated. Light microscopic immunocytochemistry demonstrated that the molar pulps contralateral to the sympathectomy contained a NPY-IR nerve fiber network more dense and heavily stained than unoperated control rats. The NPY-IR fibers showed, however, no sprouting after deep cavity preparation. There was no compensatory increase in CGRP- and SP-IR nerve fibers in the dental pulp after unilateral sympathectomy, although a significant increase in cells IR to CGRP and SP was found in the ipsilateral trigeminal ganglion. Unilateral sympathectomy induced a significant increase in cell density both in the inflamed and in the uninflamed dental pulp bilaterally. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, a trophic effect of the sympathetic nerves on cells in the dental pulp, indicating that an imbalance of sympathetic nerves may induce inflammation and pain in teeth.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Physiology, University of Bergen, Bergen, 5009, Norway
Publication date: May 1, 2001