Of the billions of neurons in the brain, how can the few responding to injury pain (such as a tooth ache or dental extraction) be identified for further study. One way is to use labled antibodies to localize cells stimulated after injury. This approach can also improves the quality of information obtained when using other techniques such as electrophysiology or osmotic exchange sampling for neurotransmitters.
|Spinal Nucleus of the Trigeminal Nerve after third molar extraction in a rat. Light dots are nuclie of cells activated by the extraction (performed under anesthesia) as revealed by an antibody to the nuclear protein CFOS. CFOS is a sensitive marker of neural activity in many mammalian neurons and is produced in this localized region of the brainstem after tooth extraction.|
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