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Expression and localization of the Nav1.9 sodium channel in enteric neurons and in trigeminal sensory endings: implication for intestinal reflex function and orofacial pain.

Françoise Padilla, Marie-Lise Couble, Bertrand Coste, François Maingret, Nadine Clerc, Marcel Crest, Amy M Ritter, Henry Magloire, Patrick Delmas

Mol. Cell. Neurosci., 2007 May , 35, 138-52

The Nav1.9 sodium channel is expressed in nociceptive DRG neurons where it contributes to spontaneous pain behavior after peripheral inflammation. Here, we used a newly developed antibody to investigate the distribution of Nav1.9 in rat and mouse trigeminal ganglion (TG) nerve endings and in enteric nervous system (ENS). In TGs, Nav1.9 was expressed in the soma of small- and medium-sized, peripherin-positive neurons. Nav1.9 was present along trigeminal afferent fibers and at terminals in lip skin and dental pulp. In the ENS, Nav1.9 was detected within the soma and proximal axons of sensory, Dogiel type II, myenteric and submucosal neurons. Immunological data were correlated with the detection of persistent TTX-resistant Na(+) currents sharing similar properties in DRG, TG and myenteric neurons. Collectively, our data support a potential role of Nav1.9 in the transmission of trigeminal pain and the regulation of intestinal reflexes. Nav1.9 might therefore constitute a molecular target for therapeutic treatments of orofacial pain and gastrointestinal syndromes.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17363266