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Neurosci Lett. 2009 Nov 13;465(2):189-93. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.08.055. Epub 2009 Aug 26.

TRPA1 expression in human lingual nerve neuromas in patients with and without symptoms of dysaesthesia.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Surgery, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.


The TRPA1 receptor is a member of the ankyrin family and is found in both spinal and trigeminal neurones. There is evidence to suggest that this receptor may be a sensor of noxious thermal stimuli in normal animals. After nerve injury, TRPA1 shows increased expression in uninjured axons, and has been implicated in the development and maintenance of hyperalgesia. We examined expression of TRPA1 in lingual nerve neuromas and investigated any potential correlation with the presence or absence of symptoms of dysaesthesia. Thirteen neuroma-in-continuity specimens were obtained from patients undergoing repair of a lingual nerve that had previously been damaged during lower third molar removal. Visual analogue scales (VAS) were used to record the degree of pain, tingling and discomfort. Tissue was processed for indirect immunofluorescence and the percentage area of PGP 9.5-immunoreactive neuronal tissue also labelled for TRPA1 was quantified. No significant difference between levels of TRPA1 in neuromas from patients with or without symptoms of dysaesthesia and no relationship between TRPA1 expression and VAS scores for pain, tingling or discomfort were observed. TRPA1 expression and the time after initial injury that the specimen was obtained also showed no correlation. These data show that TRPA1 is expressed in lingual nerve neuromas, but, it appears that, at this site, TRPA1 does not play a principal role in the development of neuropathic pain.

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