ABSTRACT: Diverse proteins of the denegerin/epithelial sodium channel (DEG/ENa(+) C) superfamily, in particular those belonging to the acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC) family, as well as some members of the transient receptor protein (TRP) channel, function as mechanosensors or may be required for mechanosensation in a diverse range of species and cell types. Therefore, we investigated the putative mechanosensitive function of human odontoblasts using immunohistochemistry to detect ENa(+) C subunits (α, β, and γ) and ASIC (1, 2, 3, and 4) proteins, as well as TRPV4, in these cells. Positive and specific immunoreactivity in the odontoblast soma and/or processes was detected for all proteins studied except α-ENa(+) C. The intensity of immunostaining was high for β-ENa(+) C and ASIC2, whereas it was low for ASIC1, ASIC3, γ-ENa(+) C, and TRPV4, being absent for α-ENa(+) C and ASIC4. These results suggest that human odontoblasts in situ express proteins related to mechanosensitive channels that probably participate in the mechanisms involved in teeth sensory transmission.
Microscopy Research and Technique 05/2011; 74(5):457-63. · 1.79 Impact Factor