Topographical organization of TRPV1-immunoreactive epithelium and CGRP-immunoreactive nerve terminals in rodent tongue
AbstractTransient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily member 1 (TRPV1) is activated by capsaicin, acid, and heat and mediates pain through peripheral nerves. In the tongue, TRPV1 expression has been reported also in the epithelium. This indicates a possibility that sensation is first received by the epithelium. However, how nerves receive sensations from the epithelium remains unclear. To clarify the anatomical basis of this interaction, we performed immunohistochemical studies in the rodent tongue to detect TRPV1 and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a neural marker. Strong expression of TRPV1 in the epithelium was observed and was restricted to the apex of the tongue. Double immunohistochemical staining revealed that CGRP-expressing nerve terminals were in close apposition to the strongly TRPV1-expressing epithelium of fungiform papilla in the apex of rodent tongues. These results suggest that the TRPV1-expressing epithelium monitors the oral environment and acquired information may then be conducted to the adjacent CGRPexpressing terminals.
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