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Neuroscience. 2006 Sep 1;141(3):1533-43. Epub 2006 Jun 12.

Immunohistochemical co-localization of transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV)1 and sensory neuropeptides in the guinea-pig respiratory system.

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Sackler Institute of Pulmonary Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Division, School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, King's College London, St. Thomas Street, London SE1 1UL, UK.


Electrophysiological studies within the lung have documented the presence of heterogenous groups of afferent fibers composed of Adelta and C-fibers and studies of somatosensory nerves within the skin reveal a complex pattern of distribution of sensory neuropeptides and transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV)1 positive nerves. However, the anatomical location of these different subpopulations of nerves within the lung has not been extensively studied. In the present study we have demonstrated that TRPV1 axons represented only a small proportion of the total number of PGP9.5 staining nerves within guinea-pig tracheal epithelium and only half the number of TRPV1 axons was immunopositive for substance P. In contrast, most TRPV1 positive neurones found within guinea-pig intrapulmonary airways were found to co-localize with sensory neuropeptides substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide within and beneath the epithelium, around blood vessels, within airway smooth muscle and alveoli, indicative of heterogeneity of TRPV1 positive axons throughout the airways. However, in the smooth muscle layer of the trachea there was evidence of substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide containing nerves that did not stain for TRPV1. We also demonstrated a complete loss of TRVP1 positive axons in the trachea and intrapulmonary airways and associated loss of bronchoconstriction induced by capsaicin, in animals chronically treated with capsaicin. However, some neuropeptide immunoreactive axons remained in the smooth muscle layer of capsaicin-treated animals which could represent the small subset of neuropeptide containing fibers which do not co-localize with TRPV1. We have provided evidence of heterogeneity of TRPV1 positive nerve fibers, including fibers characterized by lack of co-localization with neuropeptides in various regions of the airways and the existence of neuropeptide containing fibers that were not TRPV1 positive in guinea-pigs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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