PACAP and VIP are members of the VIP/secretin/glucagon family of peptides with neurotransmitter, neuroprotective, and neurotrophic functions. PACAP and VIP are known to be upregulated in primary sensory neurons following nerve injury, implying that these neuropeptides could be mediators of sensory transmission in neuropathic pain states. Nerve injury at the level of the trigeminal root is thought to be the prime cause of trigeminal neuralgia. Since cross-excitation (a chemically-mediated form of nonsynaptic transmission) within the TG is postulated to play a central role in trigeminal neuralgia, we studied the expression of PACAP and VIP receptors in the TG by RT PCR and immunocytochemistry. Of the three known receptors (PAC1, VPAC1 and VPAC2), RT PCR revealed the presence of mRNA for VPAC2 and several splice variants of the PAC1 receptor. Immunocytochemistry showed PAC1 and VPAC2 to be present in small-diameter TG neurons. Thus, PACAP and VIP are potential mediators of cross-excitation in the TG.
- Trigeminal neuralgia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience