A- and C-fiber evoked ventral root potential (VRP) responses have been examined in isolated spinal cord preparations maintained in vitro that were taken from young rats in which behavioral hyperalgesia (thermal and mechanical) was induced following UV irradiation of one hindpaw. Evoked VRPs were compared with those in naive untreated animals. The duration of both the A- and C-fiber evoked VRP was significantly increased in UV-treated animals. The amplitude of the summated VRP evoked by repeated low-frequency (1.0–5.0 Hz) C-fiber stimulation, a measure of windup, was significantly greater in UV-treated animals. In UV-treated animals, repeated low-frequency (1.0–5.0 Hz) stimulation of A-fiber inputs to the spinal cord also evoked a significant summated VRP, which was not observed in spinal cords from untreated animals. In naive animals the prolonged VRP evoked following single shock C-fiber stimulation was significantly antagonized by the NMDA receptor antagonist D-AP5 and the NK2 receptor antagonist MEN, 10376 but not by the NK1 receptor antagonists CP-96,345 or RP,67580. Summated VRPs evoked by repeated C-fiber stimulation in naive animals were significantly antagonized only by D-AP5. In hyperalgesic animals the prolonged VRP evoked by C-fiber stimulation was significantly reduced by NK1, NK2, and NMDA antagonists. The summated VRP was also significantly reduced by these antagonists. In both untreated and UV- irradiated animals the single shock evoked A-fiber ventral root response was significantly antagonized only by D-AP5. However, the summated VRP evoked by repeated A-fiber stimulation in UV-treated animals was also significantly reduced by NMDA, NK1, and NK2 receptor antagonists. The present study has demonstrated enhanced A- and C-fiber evoked responses in the rat spinal cord in vitro following induction of a peripheral injury by UV irradiation and which was associated with behavioral hyperalgesia to thermal and mechanical stimuli. Under this condition, repetitive stimulation of A-fiber primary afferents was capable of producing an enhancement of spinal excitability similar to that evoked by C-fibers in normal animals. Furthermore, we have observed the expression of an NK1 receptor component to the C-fiber evoked response following the establishment of the peripheral injury. The enhanced ventral root responses and changes in receptor sensitivity may contribute to the phenomenon of central sensitization and may be directly related to the behavioral hyperalgesia observed. Moreover, these findings may be relevant to the mechanisms of enhanced central excitability that occur in clinical conditions of inflammatory hyperalgesia and neuropathic pain.