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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Systematic and quantitative mRNA expression analysis of TRP channel genes at the single trigeminal and dorsal root ganglion level in mouse

Ine Vandewauw, Grzegorz Owsianik and Thomas Voets*

Author Affiliations

Laboratory of Ion Channel Research, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and TRPLe (TRP Research Platform Leuven), KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

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BMC Neuroscience 2013, 14:21  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-14-21

Published: 14 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Somatosensory nerve fibres arising from cell bodies within the trigeminal ganglia (TG) in the head and from a string of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) located lateral to the spinal cord convey endogenous and environmental stimuli to the central nervous system. Although several members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) superfamily of cation channels have been implicated in somatosensation, the expression levels of TRP channel genes in the individual sensory ganglia have never been systematically studied.

Results

Here, we used quantitative real-time PCR to analyse and compare mRNA expression of all TRP channels in TG and individual DRGs from 27 anatomically defined segments of the spinal cord of the mouse. At the mRNA level, 17 of the 28 TRP channel genes, TRPA1, TRPC1, TRPC3, TRPC4, TRPC5, TRPM2, TRPM3, TRPM4, TRPM5, TRPM6, TRPM7, TRPM8, TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV4, TRPML1 and TRPP2, were detectable in every tested ganglion. Notably, four TRP channels, TRPC4, TRPM4, TRPM8 and TRPV1, showed statistically significant variation in mRNA levels between DRGs from different segments, suggesting ganglion-specific regulation of TRP channel gene expression. These ganglion-to-ganglion differences in TRP channel transcript levels may contribute to the variability in sensory responses in functional studies.

Conclusions

We developed, compared and refined techniques to quantitatively analyse the relative mRNA expression of all TRP channel genes at the single ganglion level. This study also provides for the first time a comparative mRNA distribution profile in TG and DRG along the entire vertebral column for the mammalian TRP channel family.

Keywords:
Dorsal root ganglia; Trigeminal ganglia; TRP channels; Somatosensation; mRNA expression analysis; Sensory neurons