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Eur J Neurosci. 2003 Jun;17(11):2287-98.

Expression of oncostatin M receptor beta in a specific subset of nociceptive sensory neurons.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Wakay ama Medical University, 811-1 Kimiidera, Wakayama, Japan, 641-8509.


Oncostatin M belongs to the interleukin-6 family of cytokines and acts as a multifunctional cytokine during murine embryogenesis and in inflammatory reactions. Although it has been demonstrated that oncostatin M has biological activities on many types of cells, including hepatocytes, dermal fibroblasts and endothelial cells, the roles of oncostatin M in the murine peripheral nervous system remain unclear. Here, we investigated the expression of specific beta-subunit of oncostatin M receptor in the dorsal root ganglia of adult mice. In the adult dorsal root ganglia, beta-subunit of oncostatin M receptor was exclusively expressed in small-sized neurons. Approximately 13% of total dorsal root ganglia neurons in mice contained beta-subunit of oncostatin M receptor. The double-immunofluorescence method revealed that approximately 28% of beta-subunit of oncostatin M receptor-positive neurons contained TrkA immunoreactivity, 63% expressed Ret immunoreactivity and 58% bound isolectin B4. No neuropeptides, including substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide, were contained in the neurons. In addition, all beta-subunit of oncostatin M receptor-positive neurons expressed both vanilloid receptor 1 and P2X3 purinergic receptor. These neurons projected to the inner portion of lamina II in the dorsal horn of spinal cord and the dermis of skin. Seven days after sciatic nerve axotomy, the expression of beta-subunit of oncostatin M receptor was down-regulated in the lumbar dorsal root ganglia of the injured side. Our study demonstrated that beta-subunit of oncostatin M receptor was expressed in both cell bodies and processes of nonpeptidergic nociceptive neurons in adult mice, suggesting that oncostatin M may affect the nociceptive function of the neurons through the modulation of vanilloid receptor 1 and P2X3 expression.

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