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Expression of Piezo2 in the Dental Pulp, Sensory Root, and Trigeminal Ganglion and Its Coexpression with Vesicular Glutamate Transporters

Published:August 08, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joen.2022.07.012

      Abstract

      Introduction

      Information on the type of vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) that is expressed in the Piezo2-positive (Piezo2+) neurons in the trigeminal ganglion (TG) and on the type of Piezo2+ axons and their distribution in the dental pulp is important for understanding dental pain elicited by mechanical stimuli and developing new therapeutic strategies.

      Methods

      We examined the expression of Piezo2 and its coexpression with VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 in rat TG, the sensory root, and human dental pulp using light and electron microscopic immunohistochemistry and quantitative analysis.

      Results

      VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 were expressed in the TG neurons. Piezo2 was expressed in axons of all types but primarily in small myelinated (Aδ) axons in the sensory root. In the dental pulp, Piezo2 was expressed densely in the numerous axons that form a plexus in the peripheral pulp. Piezo2+ axons in the peripheral pulp were mostly unmyelinated, and Piezo2 immunoreactivity was often concentrated near the axolemma, suggesting that it may represent functional receptors.

      Conclusions

      These findings suggest that VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 are involved in the glutamate signaling in Piezo2+ neurons, Piezo2 may be primarily activated by noxious mechanical stimuli, and Piezo2-mediated dental mechanotransduction may be primarily elicited in the peripheral pulp.

      Key Words

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