PIEZO1 is selectively expressed in small diameter mouse DRG neurons distinct from neurons strongly expressing TRPV1

Jigong Wang, Jun-Ho La, Owen Hamill

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Using a high resolution in situ hybridization technique we have measured PIEZO1, PIEZO2, and TRPV1 transcripts in mouse dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Consistent with previous studies, PIEZO2 transcripts were highly expressed in DRG neurons of all sizes, including most notably the largest diameter neurons implicated in mediating touch and proprioception. In contrast, PIEZO1 transcripts were selectively expressed in smaller DRG neurons, which are implicated in mediating nociception. Moreover, the small neurons expressing PIEZO1 were mostly distinct from those neurons that strongly expressed TRPV1, one of the channels implicated in heat-nociception. Interestingly, while PIEZO1- and TRPV1- expressing neurons form essentially non-overlapping populations, PIEZO2 showed co-expression in both populations. Using an in vivo functional test for the selective expression, we found that Yoda1, a PIEZO1-specific agonist, induced a mechanical hyperalgesia that displayed a significantly prolonged time course compared with that induced by capsaicin, a TRPV1-specific agonist. Taken together, our results indicate that PIEZO1 should be considered a potential candidate in forming the long sought channel mediating mechano-nociception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number178
JournalFrontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jul 9 2019



  • Mechanically gated channel
  • Mechano-nociception
  • Pain
  • PIEZO1
  • PIEZO2
  • TRPV1
  • Yoda1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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