Sensory neurons isolated from the dorsal root ganglia of embryonic rats and grown in culture are distributed into two populations based on cross-sectional areas and sensitivity to capsaicin. Of the total neuronal population, about 48% of the neurons are labelled by cobalt in the presence of 1 μM capsaicin. The distribution of the small-sized neurons coincides with that of the capsaicin-cobaltlabelled neurons. When a lower concentration of capsaicin (100 nM) is used, pretreatment of sensory neurons with carba prostacyclin, a stable analog of prostaglandin I2, produces a three-fold enhancement in the number of neurons that are cobalt-labelled by capsaicin compared with that in the absence of carba prostacyclin. © 1994.
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