Mouse colon sensory neurons detect extracellular acidosis via TRPV1

Takeshi Sugiura, Klaus Bielefeldt, G F Gebhart
American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology 2007, 292 (5): C1768-74
Extracellular acidification contributes to pain by activating or modulating nociceptor activity. To evaluate acidic signaling from the colon, we characterized acid-elicited currents in thoracolumbar (TL) and lumbosacral (LS) dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons identified by content of a fluorescent dye (DiI) previously injected into the colon wall. In 13% of unidentified LS DRG neurons (not labeled with DiI) and 69% of LS colon neurons labeled with DiI, protons activated a sustained current that was significantly and reversibly attenuated by the transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) antagonist capsazepine. In contrast, 63% of unidentified LS DRG neurons and 4% of LS colon neurons exhibited transient amiloride-sensitive acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC) currents. The peak current density of acid-elicited currents was significantly reduced in colon sensory neurons from TRPV1-null mice, supporting predominant expression of TRPV1 in LS colon sensory neurons, which was also confirmed immunohistochemically. Similar to LS colon DRG neurons, acid-elicited currents in TL colon DRG neurons were mediated predominantly by TRPV1. However, the pH producing half-activation of responses significantly differed between TL and LS colon DRG neurons. The properties of acid-elicited currents in colon DRG neurons suggest differential contributions of ASICs and TRPV1 to colon sensation and likely nociception.

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