2020 Volume 53 Issue 5 Pages 121-129
Recent studies have proposed that the chemokine CXCL14 not only has a chemotactic activity, but also functions as a neuromodulator and/or neurotransmitter. In this study, we investigated the distribution of CXCL14 immunoreactive structures in the rat spinal cord and clarified the association of these structures with somatostatin, glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD; a marker for GABAergic neurons), and neuropeptide Y (NPY). CXCL14 immunoreactive fibers and puncta were observed in lamina II, which modulates somatosensation including nociception, and the lateral spinal nucleus of the spinal dorsal horn at cervical, thoracic, and lumber spinal cord levels. These CXCL14 immunoreactive structures were also immuno-positive for somatostatin, but were immuno-negative for GAD and NPY. In the cervical lateral spinal nucleus, CXCL14 immunoreactive puncta, which were also immuno-positive for somatostatin, existed along the proximal dendrites of some of GABAergic neurons. Together, these results suggest that CXCL14 contributes to the modulation of somatosensation in concert with somatostatin. Neurons targeted by the CXCL14 fiber system include GABAergic neurons located in the lateral spinal nucleus suggesting that CXCL14 with somatostatin can influence the GABAergic neuron function.