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Neuroscience. 2013 Mar 1;232:226-38. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.11.015. Epub 2012 Nov 29.

P2X₃ and TRPV1 functionally interact and mediate sensitization of trigeminal sensory neurons.

Author information

1
University of Maryland Baltimore, School of Dentistry, Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, Program in Neuroscience, 650 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
2
University of Maryland Baltimore, School of Dentistry, Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, Program in Neuroscience, 650 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA. Electronic address: JRo@umaryland.edu.

Abstract

Musculoskeletal pain conditions, particularly those associated with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) affect a large percentage of the population. Identifying mechanisms underlying hyperalgesia could contribute to the development of new treatment strategies for the management of TMD and other muscle pain conditions. In this study, we provide evidence of functional interactions between two ligand-gated channels, P2X₃ and transient receptor potential V1 (TRPV1), in trigeminal sensory neurons, and propose that the interactions serve as an underlying mechanism for the development of mechanical hyperalgesia. Mechanical sensitivity of the masseter muscle was assessed in lightly anesthetized rats via an electronic anesthesiometer (Ro et al., 2009). Direct intramuscular injection of a selective P2X₃ agonist, alpha,beta-methylene adenosine triphosphate (αβmeATP), induced a dose- and time-dependent hyperalgesia. Mechanical sensitivity in the contralateral muscle was unaffected suggesting local P2X₃ mediate hyperalgesia. Anesthetizing the overlying skin had no effect on αβmeATP-induced hyperalgesia confirming the contribution of P2X₃ from the muscle. Importantly, the αβmeATP-induced hyperalgesia was prevented by pretreatment of the muscle with a TRPV1 antagonist, AMG9810. P2X₃ was co-expressed with TRPV1 in the masseter muscle afferents confirming the possibility for intracellular interactions. Additionally, in a subpopulation of P2Xv/TRPV1 positive neurons, capsaicin-induced Ca(2+) transients were significantly amplified following P2X₃ activation. Finally, activation of P2X₃ induced phosphorylation of serine, but not threonine, residues in TRPV1 in trigeminal ganglia cultures. Significant phosphorylation was observed at 15 min, the time point at which behavioral hyperalgesia was prominent. Previously, activation of either P2X₃ or TRPV1 had been independently implicated in the development of mechanical hyperalgesia. Our data propose P2X₃ and TRPV1 interact in a facilitatory manner, which could contribute to the peripheral sensitization known to underlie masseter hyperalgesia.

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