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Co-expression of the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.4 with transient receptor potential channels (TRPV1 and TRPV2) and the cannabinoid receptor CB1 in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons.

U Binzen, W Greffrath, S Hennessy, M Bausen, S Saaler-Reinhardt, R-D Treede

Neuroscience, 2006 Oct 13 , 142, 527-39

Potassium channels contribute to basic neuronal excitability and modulation. Here, we examined expression patterns of the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.4, the nociceptive transduction channels TRPV1 and TRPV2 as well as the putative anti-nociceptive cannabinoid receptor CB1 by immunofluorescence double-labelings in sections of rat dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). Kv1.4, TRPV1 and CB1 were each detected in about one third of neurons (35.7+/-0.5%, 29.4+/-1.1% and 36.4+/-0.5%, respectively, mean diameter 19.1+/-0.3 microm). TRPV2 was present in 4.4+/-0.4% of all neurons that were significantly larger in diameter (27.4+/-0.7 microm; P < 0.001). Antibody double-labeling revealed that the majority of Kv1.4-positive neurons co-expressed TRPV1 (73.9+/-1.5%) whereas none expressed TRPV2. The largest overlap was found with CB1 (93.1+/-0.1%). CB1 expression resembled that seen for Kv1.4 since the majority of neurons expressing CB1-protein also expressed TRPV1 (69.4+/-6.5%) but not TRPV2 (0.6+/-0.3%). When CB1-mRNA was detected using in situ hybridizations an additional subset of larger neurons was labeled including 82.4+/-17.7% of the TRPV2 expressing neurons. However, co-localization of Kv1.4 with CB1-mRNA (92%, mean diameter: 18.5 microm) was essentially the same as with CB1-protein. The almost complete overlap of CB1 and Kv1.4 in nociceptive DRG neurons suggests a functional synergistic action between Kv1.4 and CB1. The potassium channel may have two important roles in nociception. As the molecular basis of A-type current it could be involved in the control of repetitive discharges at peripheral terminals and as a downstream signal transduction site of CB1 in the control of presynaptic transmitter release at central terminals.