Differential distribution of calcitonin gene-related peptide and its receptor components in the human trigeminal ganglion

S Eftekhari, C A Salvatore, A Calamari, S A Kane, J Tajti, L Edvinsson
Neuroscience 2010 August 25, 169 (2): 683-96
Calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) has a key role in migraine and recently CGRP receptor antagonists have demonstrated clinical efficacy in the treatment of migraine. However, it remains unclear where the CGRP receptors are located within the CGRP signaling pathway in the human trigeminal system and hence the potential antagonist sites of action remain unknown. Therefore we designed a study to evaluate the localization of CGRP and its receptor components calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CLR) and receptor activity modifying protein (RAMP) 1 in the human trigeminal ganglion using immunohistochemistry and compare with that of rat. Antibodies against purified CLR and RAMP1 proteins were produced and characterized for this study. Trigeminal ganglia were obtained at autopsy from adult subjects and sections from rat trigeminal ganglia were used to compare the immunostaining pattern. The number of cells expressing CGRP, CLR and RAMP1, respectively, were counted. In addition, the glial cells of trigeminal ganglion, particularly the satellite glial cell, were studied to understand a possible relation. We observed immunoreactivity for CGRP, CLR and RAMP1, in the human trigeminal ganglion: 49% of the neurons expressed CGRP, 37% CLR and 36% RAMP1. Co-localization of CGRP and the receptor components was rarely found. There were no CGRP immunoreactions in the glial cells; however some of the glial cells displayed CLR and RAMP1 immunoreactivity. Similar results were observed in rat trigeminal ganglia. We report that human and rat trigeminal neurons store CGRP, CLR and RAMP1; however, CGRP and CLR/RAMP1 do not co-localize regularly but are found in separate neurons. Glial cells also contain the CGRP receptor components but not CGRP. Our results indicate, for the first time, the possibility of CGRP signaling in the human trigeminal ganglion involving both neurons and satellite glial cells. This suggests a possible site of action for the novel CGRP receptor antagonists in migraine therapy.

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