C004 – Neurobiology

Objectives and lines of research


Our goal is to study the mechanisms underlying pain sensorimotor integration at the level of the bulbar reticular formation. To do this, we start from the hypothesis that the specifically nociceptive cells of the dorsal reticular subnucleus (SRD) and that project to the spinal cord are functionally linked with the reticulospinal cells of the gigantocellular reticular nucleus (NRGc) that also receive pain information; and that this linkage could be responsible for the simultaneous modulation of motor responses initiated by noxious stimulation, and the associated ascending pain signals. The resolution of the following questions is proposed: 1) Do the SRD cells and a subpopulation of reticulospinal cells receive the same pain information? Preliminary data suggest that this may be so, but 2) do pain-sensitive reticulospinal cells receive nociceptive input via the SRD?, and 3) are there reciprocal synaptic relationships between pain-sensitive cells of the SRD and cNRG that can simultaneously regulate motor responses initiated by noxious stimulation (through reticulospinal cells) and ascending nociceptive information originating in the spinal cord dorsal horn (by descending cells of the SRD)?. Simultaneous unitary recording of nociceptive neurons in the SRD and in the NRGc, supplemented with microstimulation through one of the recording electrodes while observing its effect on the other, will help resolve the issues raised. Experiments using retrograde and antegrade markers will complement the electrophysiological results. Preliminary data point to the advisability of continuing research to: a) clarify whether both nociceptive cell populations, those of the SRD and those of the cNRG, are or are not affected by the stimulation of other structures related to motor function and pain (the region mesencephalic locomotor, the magnocellular red nucleus, the caudal part of the zona incerta, the dorsolateral part of the periaqueductal gray matter, and the locus coeruleus) as would be expected given the high degree of convergence that normally presents the structures that send axons to the brain. spinal cord; and b) study the neurotransmitters involved in SRD-NRGc-SRD interactions by coupling extracellular recording to microiontophoretic ejection of neuroactive compounds.

Research team

Antonio Canedo Lamas

Personal Investigador (establecido o asociado)
Francisco Javier Martín-Cora




Roberto Leiras GonzálezPredoctorales
Tania Liste Castro

Lead researcher

Antonio Canedo Lamas

Antonio Canedo Lamas