Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 93–101 | Cite as

Effect of Testosterone on TRPV1 Expression in a Model of Orofacial Myositis Pain in the Rat

  • Xiaofeng Bai
  • Xia Zhang
  • Qing Zhou


Recent clinical studies have revealed sex differences in response to transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) agonist-induced pain. However, the mechanism of these differences in TRPV1-related chronic pain remains unclear. In the present study, we investigate the effects of inflammation and gonadal hormones on TRPV1 expression in trigeminal ganglia. Inflammatory pain was modeled by injecting complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) into the left masseter muscle in rats. TRPV1 mRNA and protein levels in the trigeminal ganglia of male and female rats following CFA injection were assessed. CFA-induced changes in TRPV1 mRNA and protein expression in the trigeminal ganglia from orchidectomized (ODX) male rats and testosterone-replaced ODX rats were examined. Additionally, TRPV1 mRNA levels in the trigeminal ganglia from ovariectomized (OVX) female and ODX male rats treated with tamoxifen were assessed. We found that the levels of TRPV1 mRNA and protein in the trigeminal ganglia from female rats following CFA injection were significantly higher than in the ganglia from naïve female rats. CFA-induced inflammatory hyperalgesia did not alter TRPV1 expression in the trigeminal ganglia from male rats. The TRPV1 mRNA and protein expression levels in the ODX male trigeminal ganglia were significantly upregulated on day 3 following the initiation of inflammation. However, CFA-induced inflammatory pain had no significant effect on TRPV1 mRNA or protein expression in testosterone-replaced ODX rats. Furthermore, tamoxifen was unable to inhibit the upregulation of TRPV1 expression in OVX female and ODX male rats after CFA injection. In summary, these data indicate that gender differences in TRPV1 function may be, in part, mediated by sex-dependent TRPV1 expression in sensory ganglia. Testosterone plays a key role in the inhibition of TRPV1 expression in this rat chronic inflammatory pain model.


Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 Chronic pain Trigeminal ganglia Testosterone Complete Freund’s adjuvant 



Cannabinoid type 1 receptor


Complete Freund’s adjuvant


μ-Opioid receptor






Trigeminal ganglia


Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1


Funding Information

These studies were supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81400530), the Technology Foundation for Selected Overseas Chinese Scholar, the Ministry of Personnel of China ([2014]240), and the Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province (201602811). The funders had no roles in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School & Hospital of StomatologyChina Medical UniversityShenyangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology, School & Hospital of StomatologyChina Medical UniversityShenyangPeople’s Republic of China

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