Localization of ionotropic glutamate receptors in peripheral axons of human skin

Ilka Kinkelin, Eva Bettina Bröcker, Martin Koltzenburg, Susan M. Carlton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    90 Scopus citations


    Recent observations suggest that glutamate is important in sensory transduction in the periphery, contributing to peripheral sensitization of nociceptors and the hyperalgesia that accompanies inflammation. This study examined the presence of ionotropic glutamate receptors N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazolone-4-propionic acid (AMPA) and kainate (KA) in normal human hairy skin (n=6) using immunohistochemistry at the electron microscopic level. Analysis of labeled axons at the dermal-epidermal junction demonstrated that 26.9±2, 19.5±3 and 18.5±1% of the axons analyzed were labeled for subunits of the NMDA, AMPA or KA receptors, respectively. An occasional Schwann cell process was labeled for either NMDA or KA receptors. The findings support the hypothesis that glutamate and its ionotropic receptors may play a role in the periphery in sensory processing in humans. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)149-152
    Number of pages4
    JournalNeuroscience Letters
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 7 2000


    • Electron microscopy
    • Hyperalgesia
    • Immunohistochemistry
    • Kainate
    • N-methyl-D-aspartate
    • Pain
    • Primary afferent
    • α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazolone-4-propionic acid

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuroscience(all)


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