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Neuroscience. 2003;119(3):803-12.

Localisation of cannabinoid receptor 1 in rat dorsal root ganglion using in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry.

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  • 1Pain Research, Department of Anaesthetics, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Campus, London, UK.


In this study we used in situ hybridisation and double-labelling immunohistochemistry to characterise cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB(1)) expression in rat lumbar dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons.Approximately 25% of DRG neurons expressed CB(1) mRNA and displayed immunoreactivity for CB(1). Sixty-nine percent to 82% of CB(1)-expressing cells were also immunoreactive for neurofilament 200, indicative of myelinated A-fibre neurons, which tend to be large- and medium-sized DRG neurons (>600 microm(2)). Approximately 10% of CB1-expressing cells also expressed transient receptor potential vanilloid family ion channel 2 (TRPV2), the noxious heat-transducing channel found in medium to large lightly myelinated Adelta-fibre DRG neurons. Seventeen percent to 26% of CB(1)-expressing cells co-stained using Isolectin B4, 9-10% for calcitonin gene-related peptide and 11-20% for transient receptor potential vanilloid family ion channel 1 (TRPV1), predominantly markers of small non-myelinated C-fibre DRG neurons (<600 microm(2)). These findings suggest that whilst a wide range of DRG neuron phenotypes express CB(1), it is predominantly associated with myelinated fibres.

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