Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 299, Issue 3, pp 327–334 | Cite as

Epithelial Na+ channels and stomatin are expressed in rat trigeminal mechanosensory neurons

  • B. Fricke
  • R. Lints
  • G. Stewart
  • H. Drummond
  • G. Dodt
  • M. Driscoll
  • M. von Düring
Regular Article
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Abstract.

Caenorhabditis elegans MEC-4 and MEC-10 are subunits of the degenerin/epithelial Na+ channel (DEG/ENaC) ion channel superfamily thought to be associated with MEC-2 (a stomatin-like protein) in a mechanotransducing molecular complex in specialized touch sensory neurons. A key question is whether analogous molecular complexes in higher organisms transduce mechanical signals. To address this question, we selected mechanoreceptors of the rat vibrissal follicle-sinus complex in the mystacial pad and the trigeminal ganglia for an immunocytochemical and molecular biological study. RT-PCR of poly(A+) mRNA of rat trigeminal ganglia indicated that α-, β-, and γ-ENaC and stomatin mRNA are expressed in rat trigeminal ganglia. Using immunocytochemistry, we found that α-, β-, and γ-ENaC subunits and stomatin are localized in the perikarya of the trigeminal neurons and in a minor fraction of their termination site in the vibrissal follicle-sinus complex, where longitudinal lanceolate endings are immunopositive. We conclude that α-, β-, and γ-ENaC subunits as well as the candidate interacting protein stomatin are coexpressed in a mammalian mechanoreceptor, a location consistent with a possible role in mechanotransduction.

Epithelial sodium channel Stomatin Mechanotransduction Trigeminal somatosensory nervous system Vibrissae Ion channels Immunocytochemistry Rat (Wistar) 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Fricke
    • 1
  • R. Lints
    • 2
  • G. Stewart
    • 3
  • H. Drummond
    • 4
  • G. Dodt
    • 5
  • M. Driscoll
    • 2
  • M. von Düring
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neuroanatomy, Institute of Anatomy MA6/152, Ruhr University, Universitätsstrasse 150, D-44801 Bochum, Germany
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, University College London School of Medicine, Rayne Institute, 5 University Street, London, UK
  4. 4.Department of Internal Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
  5. 5.Institute of Physiological Chemistry, Ruhr University, Universitätsstrasse 150, D-44801 Bochum, Germany

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