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Biochemistry Insights

La3+ Alters the Response Properties of Neurons in the Mouse Primary Somatosensory Cortex to Low-Temperature Noxious Stimulation of the Dental Pulp

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Biochemistry Insights 2015:Suppl. 1 9-20

Original Research

Published on 09 Nov 2015

DOI: 10.4137/BCI.S30752


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Abstract

Although dental pain is a serious health issue with high incidence among the human population, its cellular and molecular mechanisms are still unclear. Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are assumed to be involved in the generation of dental pain. However, most of the studies were conducted with molecular biological or histological methods. In vivo functional studies on the role of TRP channels in the mechanisms of dental pain are lacking. This study uses in vivo cellular electrophysiological and neuropharmacological method to directly disclose the effect of LaCl₃, a broad spectrum TRP channel blocker, on the response properties of neurons in the mouse primary somatosensory cortex to low-temperature noxious stimulation of the dental pulp. It was found that LaCl₃ suppresses the high-firing-rate responses of all nociceptive neurons to noxious low-temperature stimulation and also inhibits the spontaneous activities in some nonnociceptive neurons. The effect of LaCl₃ is reversible. Furthermore, this effect is persistent and stable unless LaCl₃ is washed out. Washout of LaCl₃ quickly revitalized the responsiveness of neurons to low-temperature noxious stimulation. This study adds direct evidence for the hypothesis that TRP channels are involved in the generation of dental pain and sensation. Blockade of TRP channels may provide a novel therapeutic treatment for dental pain.



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