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J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2013 Jun;33(3):423-6. doi: 10.1007/s11596-013-1135-6. Epub 2013 Jun 17.

P2X3, but not P2X1, receptors mediate ATP-activated current in neurons innervating tooth-pulp.

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Wuhan Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Jianghan University, Wuhan 430056, China.


We developed a method that allows us to label nociceptive neurons innervating tooth-pulp in rat trigeminal ganglion neurons using a retrograde fluorescence-tracing method, to record ATP-activated current in freshly isolated fluorescence-labeled neurons and to conduct single cell immunohistochemical staining for P2X1 and P2X3 subunits in the same neuron. Three types of ATP-activated current in these neurons (F, I and S) were recorded. The cells exhibiting the type F current mainly showed positive staining for P2X3, but negative staining for P2X1. The results provide direct and convincing evidence at the level of single native nociceptive neurons for correlation of the characteristics of ATP-activated currents with their composition of P2X1 and P2X3 subunits and cell size. The results also suggest that the P2X3, but not P2X1, is the main subunit that mediates the fast ATP-activated current in nociceptive neurons.

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