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Thermal detection thresholds of a delta- and C-Fibre afferents activated by brief CO2 laser pulses applied onto the human hairy skin

Maxim Churyukanov, Leon Plaghki, Valéry Legrain UGent and Andre Mouraux (2012) PLOS ONE. 7(4).
abstract
Brief high-power laser pulses applied onto the hairy skin of the distal end of a limb generate a double sensation related to the activation of A delta- and C-fibres, referred to as first and second pain. However, neurophysiological and behavioural responses related to the activation of C-fibres can be studied reliably only if the concomitant activation of A delta- fibres is avoided. Here, using a novel CO2 laser stimulator able to deliver constant-temperature heat pulses through a feedback regulation of laser power by an online measurement of skin temperature at target site, combined with an adaptive staircase algorithm using reaction-time to distinguish between responses triggered by A delta- and C-fibre input, we show that it is possible to estimate robustly and independently the thermal detection thresholds of A delta- fibres (46.9 +/- 1.7 degrees C) and C-fibres (39.8 +/- 1.7 degrees C). Furthermore, we show that both thresholds are dependent on the skin temperature preceding and/or surrounding the test stimulus, indicating that the A delta- and C-fibre afferents triggering the behavioural responses to brief laser pulses behave, at least partially, as detectors of a change in skin temperature rather than as pure level detectors. Most importantly, our results show that the difference in threshold between A delta- and C-fibre afferents activated by brief laser pulses can be exploited to activate C-fibres selectively and reliably, provided that the rise in skin temperature generated by the laser stimulator is well-controlled. Our approach could constitute a tool to explore, in humans, the physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms involved in processing C-and A delta- fibre input, respectively.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
MONKEY
journal title
PLOS ONE
PLoS One
volume
7
issue
4
article_number
e35817
pages
9 pages
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000305345200083
JCR category
MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES
JCR impact factor
3.73 (2012)
JCR rank
7/56 (2012)
JCR quartile
1 (2012)
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0035817
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
2967018
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2967018
date created
2012-08-02 15:03:01
date last changed
2015-06-17 10:12:20
@article{2967018,
  abstract     = {Brief high-power laser pulses applied onto the hairy skin of the distal end of a limb generate a double sensation related to the activation of A delta- and C-fibres, referred to as first and second pain. However, neurophysiological and behavioural responses related to the activation of C-fibres can be studied reliably only if the concomitant activation of A delta- fibres is avoided. Here, using a novel CO2 laser stimulator able to deliver constant-temperature heat pulses through a feedback regulation of laser power by an online measurement of skin temperature at target site, combined with an adaptive staircase algorithm using reaction-time to distinguish between responses triggered by A delta- and C-fibre input, we show that it is possible to estimate robustly and independently the thermal detection thresholds of A delta- fibres (46.9 +/- 1.7 degrees C) and C-fibres (39.8 +/- 1.7 degrees C). Furthermore, we show that both thresholds are dependent on the skin temperature preceding and/or surrounding the test stimulus, indicating that the A delta- and C-fibre afferents triggering the behavioural responses to brief laser pulses behave, at least partially, as detectors of a change in skin temperature rather than as pure level detectors. Most importantly, our results show that the difference in threshold between A delta- and C-fibre afferents activated by brief laser pulses can be exploited to activate C-fibres selectively and reliably, provided that the rise in skin temperature generated by the laser stimulator is well-controlled. Our approach could constitute a tool to explore, in humans, the physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms involved in processing C-and A delta- fibre input, respectively.},
  articleno    = {e35817},
  author       = {Churyukanov, Maxim and Plaghki, Leon and Legrain, Val{\'e}ry and Mouraux, Andre},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  journal      = {PLOS ONE},
  keyword      = {MONKEY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {9},
  title        = {Thermal detection thresholds of a delta- and C-Fibre afferents activated by brief CO2 laser pulses applied onto the human hairy skin},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0035817},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Churyukanov, Maxim, Leon Plaghki, Valéry Legrain, and Andre Mouraux. 2012. “Thermal Detection Thresholds of a Delta- and C-Fibre Afferents Activated by Brief CO2 Laser Pulses Applied onto the Human Hairy Skin.” Plos One 7 (4).
APA
Churyukanov, M., Plaghki, L., Legrain, V., & Mouraux, A. (2012). Thermal detection thresholds of a delta- and C-Fibre afferents activated by brief CO2 laser pulses applied onto the human hairy skin. PLOS ONE, 7(4).
Vancouver
1.
Churyukanov M, Plaghki L, Legrain V, Mouraux A. Thermal detection thresholds of a delta- and C-Fibre afferents activated by brief CO2 laser pulses applied onto the human hairy skin. PLOS ONE. 2012;7(4).
MLA
Churyukanov, Maxim, Leon Plaghki, Valéry Legrain, et al. “Thermal Detection Thresholds of a Delta- and C-Fibre Afferents Activated by Brief CO2 Laser Pulses Applied onto the Human Hairy Skin.” PLOS ONE 7.4 (2012): n. pag. Print.