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Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 Jan 2020 - 10 Jan 2020

Animal Studies

2020 01 21



Low-intensity, Kilohertz Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation Differently Affects Excitatory and Inhibitory Neurons in the Rodent Superficial Dorsal Horn.


Lee K Y, Bae C, Lee D, Kagan Z, Bradley K, Chung J M, La J-H
Neuroscience. 2020 01 21; 428:132-139.
PMID: 31917342.


Since 1967, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has been used to manage chronic intractable pain of the trunk and limbs. Compared to traditional high-intensity, low-frequency (<100 Hz) SCS that is thought to produce paresthesia and pain relief by stimulating large myelinated fibers in the dorsal column (DC), low-intensity, high-frequency (10 kHz) SCS has demonstrated long-term pain relief without generation of paresthesia. To understand this paresthesia-free analgesic mechanism of 10 kHz SCS, we examined whether 10 kHz SCS at intensities below sensory thresholds would modulate spinal dorsal horn (DH) neuronal function in a neuron type-dependent manner. By using in vivo and ex vivo electrophysiological approaches, we found that low-intensity (sub-sensory threshold) 10 kHz SCS, but not 1 kHz or 5 kHz SCS, selectively activates inhibitory interneurons in the spinal DH. This study suggests that low-intensity 10 kHz SCS may inhibit pain sensory processing in the spinal DH by activating inhibitory interneurons without activating DC fibers, resulting in paresthesia-free pain relief.