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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2004 Jun;286(6):G983-91. Epub 2004 Jan 15.

Thermosensitive transient receptor potential channels in vagal afferent neurons of the mouse.

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Department of Human Physiology, and Centre for Neuroscience, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, South Australia, 5001, Australia.


A number of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels has recently been shown to mediate cutaneous thermosensitivity. Sensitivity to warm and cool stimuli has been demonstrated in both human and animal gastrointestinal tract; however, the molecular mechanisms that underlie this have not been determined. Vagal afferent neurons with cell bodies in the nodose ganglion are known to mediate nonnociceptive sensation from the upper gut. In this study, isolated cultured nodose ganglion from the mouse neurons showed changes in cytoplasmic-free Ca(2+) concentrations over a range of temperatures, as well as to icilin (a TRPM8 and TRPN1 agonist) and capsaicin (a TRPV1 agonist). RT-PCR was used to show the presence of six temperature-sensitive TRP channel transcripts (TRPV1-4, TRPN1, and TRPM8) in whole nodose ganglia. In addition, RT-PCR of single nodose cell bodies, which had been retrogradely labeled from the upper gut, detected transcripts for TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV4, TRPN1, and TRPM8 in a proportion of cells. Immunohistochemical labeling detected TRPV1 and TRPV2 proteins in nodose ganglia. The presence of TRP channel transcripts and proteins was also detected in cells within several regions of the gastrointestinal tract. Our results reveal that TRP channels are present in subsets of vagal afferent neurons that project to the stomach and may confer temperature sensitivity on these cells.

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