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Molecular identities of two tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium channels in corneal axons.

Joel A Black, Stephen G Waxman

Exp. Eye Res., 2002 Aug , 75, 193-9

Previous electrophysiological studies have demonstrated that tetrodotoxin-resistant (TTX-R) sodium channels contribute to action potential electrogenesis and conduction along non-myelinated PNS axons. Moreover, recent work has established that TTX-R sodium channels play a major role in the generation of action potentials in the terminals of non-myelinated nociceptive axons innervating the cornea. We have utilized subtype-specific antibodies to sodium channels Na(v)1.8 and Na(v)1.9 to examine the molecular identity of the TTX-R sodium channels that are present in these axons. Both Na(v)1.8 and Na(v)1.9 sodium channels are expressed diffusely along the entire lengths of non-myelinated corneal axons, from the nerve plexus at the corneoscleral limbus to the distal corneal leash fibers. Moreover, both Na(v)1.8 and Na(v)1.9 are localized at the bulb-like nerve terminals of the leash fibers within the superficial epithelial layers of the cornea. These observations suggest that both TTX-R sodium channels Na(v)1.8 and Na(v)1.9 contribute to the electrogenesis of non-myelinated axons of the cornea.