P2X7 receptors in satellite glial cells mediate high functional expression of P2X3 receptors in immature dorsal root ganglion neurons

Yong Chen, Guangwen Li, Li Yen M. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The purinergic P2X3 receptor (P2X3R) expressed in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neuron and the P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) expressed in the surrounding satellite glial cell (SGC) are two major receptors participating in neuron-SGC communication in adult DRGs. Activation of P2X7Rs was found to tonically reduce the expression of P2X3Rs in DRGs, thus inhibiting the abnormal pain behaviors in adult rats. P2X receptors are also actively involved in sensory signaling in developing rodents. However, very little is known about the developmental change of P2X7Rs in DRGs and the interaction between P2X7Rs and P2X3Rs in those animals. We therefore examined the expression of P2X3Rs and P2X7Rs in postnatal rats and determined if P2X7R-P2X3R control exists in developing rats.Findings: We immunostained DRGs of immature rats and found that P2X3Rs were expressed only in neurons and P2X7Rs were expressed only in SGCs. Western blot analyses indicated that P2X3R expression decreased while P2X7R expression increased with the age of rats. Electrophysiological studies showed that the number of DRG neurons responding to the stimulation of the P2XR agonist, α,β-meATP, was higher and the amplitudes of α,β-meATP-induced depolarizations were larger in immature DRG neurons. As a result, P2X3R-mediated flinching responses were much more pronounced in immature rats than those found in adult rats. When we reduced P2X7R expression with P2X7R-siRNA in postnatal and adult rats, P2X3R-mediated flinch responses were greatly enhanced in both rat populations.Conclusions: These results show that the P2X7R expression increases as rats age. In addition, P2X7Rs in SGCs exert inhibitory control on the P2X3R expression and function in sensory neurons of immature rats, just as observed in adult rats. Regulation of P2X7R expression is likely an effective way to control P2X3R activity and manage pain relief in infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalMolecular pain
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 7 2012

Keywords

  • Abnormal pain
  • Development
  • Dorsal root ganglion
  • Neuron-glia interactions
  • Nociception
  • P2X3 receptors
  • P2X7 receptors
  • P2X7R-P2X3R inhibitory control
  • Postnatal immature rats
  • Purinergic signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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