Muscle afferents are critical regulators of motor function (Group I and II) and cardiovascular responses to exercise (Group III and IV). However, little is known regarding the expressed voltage-dependent ion channels. We identified muscle afferent neurons in dorsal root ganglia (DRGs), using retrograde labeling to examine voltage-dependent sodium (Na(V)) channels. In patch-clamp recordings, we found that the dominant Na(V) current in the majority of identified neurons was insensitive to tetrodotoxin (TTX-R), with Na(V) current in only a few (14%) neurons showing substantial (>50%) TTX sensitivity (TTX-S). The TTX-R current was sensitive to a Na(V)1.8 channel blocker, A803467. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated labeling of muscle afferent neurons by a Na(V)1.8 antibody, which further supported expression of these channels. A portion of the TTX-R Na(V) current appeared to be noninactivating during our 25-ms voltage steps, which suggested activity of Na(V)1.9 channels. The majority of the noninactivating current was insensitive to A803467 but sensitive to extracellular sodium. Immunocytochemistry showed labeling of muscle afferent neurons by a Na(V)1.9 channel antibody, which supports expression of these channels. Further examination of the muscle afferent neurons showed that functional TTX-S channels were expressed, but were largely inactivated at physiological membrane potentials. Immunocytochemistry showed expression of the TTX-S channels Na(V)1.6 and Na(V)1.7 but not Na(V)1.1. Na(V)1.8 and Na(V)1.9 appear to be the dominant functional sodium channels in small- to medium-diameter muscle afferent neurons. The expression of these channels is consistent with the identification of these neurons as Group III and IV, which mediate the exercise pressor reflex.
"The NaV1.8 channel has also been found in the soma of small diameter sensory C and Aδ neurons  which have been shown to be involved in nociception in models of neuropathic and inflammatory pain . One study reported that the NaV1.8 channel is present in 86% of the muscle sensory afferent fibers, which makes it a useful marker of putative muscle nociceptors , and recently it has been found in trigeminal ganglion neurons innervating the rat masseter muscle . Taken together, this evidence suggests that NaV1.8 channel mainly found in the peripheral sensory neurons and their expression on nerve fibers provides a method to identify putatively nociceptive afferent fibers [24,28]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Previous studies have shown that 5-HT3-antagonists reduce muscle pain, but there are no studies that have investigated the expression of 5-HT3-receptors in human muscles. Also, tetrodotoxin resistant voltage gated sodium-channels (NaV) are involved in peripheral sensitization and found in trigeminal ganglion neurons innervating the rat masseter muscle. This study aimed to investigate the frequency of nerve fibers that express 5-HT3A-receptors alone and in combination with NaV1.8 sodium-channels in human muscles and to compare it between healthy pain-free men and women, the pain-free masseter and tibialis anterior muscles, and patients with myofascial temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and pain-free controls.
Three microbiopsies were obtained from the most bulky part of the tibialis and masseter muscles of seven and six healthy men and seven and six age-matched healthy women, respectively, while traditional open biopsies were obtained from the most painful spot of the masseter of five female patients and from a similar region of the masseter muscle of five healthy, age-matched women. The biopsies were processed by routine immunohistochemical methods. The biopsy sections were incubated with monoclonal antibodies against the specific axonal marker PGP 9.5, and polyclonal antibodies against the 5-HT3A-receptors and NaV1.8 sodium-channels.
A similar percentage of nerve fibers in the healthy masseter (85.2%) and tibialis (88.7%) muscles expressed 5-HT3A-receptors. The expression of NaV1.8 by 5-HT3A positive nerve fibers associated with connective tissue was significantly higher than nerve fibers associated with myocytes (P < .001). In the patients, significantly more fibers per section were found with an average of 3.8 ± 3 fibers per section in the masseter muscle compared to 2.7 ± 0.2 in the healthy controls (P = .024). Further, the frequency of nerve fibers that co-expressed NaV1.8 and 5-HT3A receptors was significantly higher in patients (42.6%) compared to healthy controls (12.0%) (P < .001).
This study showed that the 5-HT3A-receptor is highly expressed in human masseter and tibialis muscles and that there are more nerve fibers that express 5-HT3A-receptors in the masseter of women with myofascial TMD compared to healthy women. These findings indicate that 5-HT3-receptors might be up-regulated in myofascial TMD and could serve as potential biomarkers of chronic muscle pain.
The Journal of Headache and Pain 09/2014; 15(1):63. DOI:10.1186/1129-2377-15-63 · 2.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) express a subset of voltage dependent sodium channels (NaV) including NaV 1.1, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8 and 1.9. Previous work supported preferential localization of NaV 1.8 channels to small-medium diameter, nociceptive afferent neurons. However, we recently published evidence that NaV 1.8 was the dominant NaV channel expressed in the somas of small, medium and large diameter muscle afferent neurons, which is consistent with other reports. Here, we extend those results to show that NaV 1.8 expression is not correlated with afferent neuron diameter. Using immunocytochemistry, we found NaV 1.8 expression in ~50% of sensory afferent neurons with diameters ranging from 20 to 70 µm. In addition, electrophysiological analysis shows that the kinetic and inactivation properties of NaV 1.8 current are invariant with neuron size. These data add further support to the idea that NaV 1.8 contributes to the electrical excitability of both nociceptive and non-nociceptive sensory neurons.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sensory neurons transmit signals from various parts of the body to the central nervous system. The soma for these neurons are located in the dorsal root ganglia that line the spinal column. Understanding the receptors and channels expressed by these sensory afferent neurons could lead to novel therapies for disease. The initial step is to identify the specific subset of sensory neurons of interest. Here we describe a method to identify afferent neurons innervating the muscles by retrograde labeling using a fluorescent dye DiI (1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate). Understanding the contribution of ion channels to excitation of muscle afferents could help to better control excessive excitability induced by certain disease states such as peripheral vascular disease or heart failure. We used two approaches to identify the voltage dependent ion channels expressed by these neurons, patch clamp electrophysiology and immunocytochemistry. While electrophysiology plus pharmacological blockers can identify functional ion channel types, we used immunocytochemistry to identify channels for which specific blockers were unavailable and to better understand the ion channel distribution pattern in the cell population. These techniques can be applied to other areas of the nervous system to study specific neuronal groups.
Journal of Visualized Experiments 01/2013; DOI:10.3791/50782 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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