Prolonged ongoing discharges of sensory nerves as recorded in isolated nerves in the rat

E. J. Baik‐Han, K. J. Kim, Jin Mo Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Whether or not injury to a mammalian sensory nerve produces prolonged discharges is a controversial issue. Because of this controversy and its potential ramifications in both experimental and clinical conditions, we examined discharges in sectioned sensory nerves of the rat. In anesthetized rats, either a dorsal root or a saphenous nerve was isolated by sectioning both proximally and distally. Multi‐unit recordings from these isolated nerves showed low levels of prolonged ongoing discharges often lasting for at least 2 hr. Furthermore, results from short‐term (1–2 days) survival surgeries indicated that prolonged ongoing discharges could last for days. Sectioning the ventral root produced discharges for only a short period. Various pieces of evidence suggested that the sources of impulse generation are multiple, occurring in the middle of an uninjured axon at a site away from the injury, as well as at the injured site. There is circumstantial evidence which suggests that these prolonged discharges are produced in physiological conditions or at least under normal experimental conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1990


  • abnormal impulse generation
  • dorsal rhizotomy
  • ectopic impulses
  • injury discharges
  • peripheral nerve injury
  • spontaneous activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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