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J Oral Sci. 2019;61(1):146-155. doi: 10.2334/josnusd.18-0031.

Upregulation of calcitonin gene-related peptide, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 in the trigeminal ganglion after bright light stimulation of the eye in rats.

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Department of Complete Denture Prosthodontics, Nihon University School of Dentistry.
Department of Physiology, Nihon University School of Dentistry.
Department of Oral Physiology, Osaka University Graduate School of Dentistry.
Department of Psychosomatic Dentistry, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Graduate School.
Department of Endodontics, Nihon University School of Dentistry.


Bright light stimulation of the eye activates trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (Vc) neurons in rats. Sensory information is conveyed to the Vc via the trigeminal ganglion (TG). Thus, it is likely that TG neurons respond to photic stimulation and are involved in photic hypersensitivity. However, the mechanisms underlying this process are unclear. Therefore, the hypothesis in this study is bright light stimulation enhances the excitability of TG neurons involved in photic hypersensitivity. Expressions of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) were significantly higher in TG neurons from 5 min to 12 h after photic stimulation of the eye. Phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (pERK1/2) was enhanced in TG neurons within 5 min after photic stimulation, while pERK1/2 immunoreactivity in satellite glial cells (SGCs) persisted for more than 12 h after the stimulus. Activation of SGCs was observed from 5 min to 2 h. Expression of CGRP, nNOS, and pERK1/2 was observed in small and medium TG neurons, and activation of SGCs and pERK1/2-immunoreactive SGCs encircling large TG neurons was accelerated after stimulation. These results suggest that upregulation of CGRP, nNOS, and pERK1/2 within the TG is involved in photic hypersensitivity.


CGRP; nNOS; pERK1/2; photosensitivity; satellite glial cells; trigeminal ganglion

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