Immunohistochemical localization of acid-sensing ion channel 2 (ASIC2) in cutaneous Meissner and Pacinian corpuscles of Macaca fascicularis.
ABSTRACT Acid-sensing ion channel 2 (ASIC2) is a member of the degenerin/epithelial sodium channel superfamily, presumably involved mechanosensation. Expression of ASIC2 has been detected in mechanosensory neurons as well as in both axons and Schwann-like cells of cutaneous mechanoreceptors. In these studies we analysed expression of ASIC2 in the cutaneous sensory corpuscles of Macaca fascicularis using immunohistochemistry and laser confocal-scanner microscopy. ASIC2 immunoreactivity was detected in both Meissner and Pacinian corpuscles. It was found to co-localize with neuron-specific enolase and RT-97, but not with S100 protein, demonstrating that ASIC2 expression is restricted to axons supplying mechanoreceptors. These results demonstrate for the first time the presence of the protein ASIC2 in cutaneous rapidly adapting low-threshold mechanoreceptors of monkey, suggesting a role of this ion channel in touch sense.