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Current Research
Protein expression profiling of laser microdissected-dorsal horn laminae of chronic pain model rats.
Many aspects of chronic pain involve related events at dorsal horn synapses, namely synaptic plasticity in spinal dorsal horn neurons. We combine laser scanning microdissector, 1D/2D SDS-PAGE, and mass spectrometry to identify changes in protein expressions in chronic pain models. Specific laminae of contra- and ipsilateral dorsal horn of chronic pain model rats are isolated by a laser microdissector. Proteins in the isolated laminae are analysed by 1/2D SDS-PAGE and subsequent MALDI-TOF and ESI Q-TOF MS/MS mass spectrometry. In this way we can identify the changes of expression levels of molecules not only in the postsynaptic cells, but also in the presynaptic terminals of primary sensory neurons which cannot be studied by genetic approaches such as microarrays. The changes of expression levels of proteins are further examined by immunohistochemistry. Potential functional consequences of altered protein expression will be examined in neuronal tissue culture using over-expression and siRNA approaches prior to in vivo studies.