sensory neurons
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Jannis Körner ◽  
Angelika Lampert

AbstractSensory neurons are responsible for the generation and transmission of nociceptive signals from the periphery to the central nervous system. They encompass a broadly heterogeneous population of highly specialized neurons. The understanding of the molecular choreography of individual subpopulations is essential to understand physiological and pathological pain states. Recently, it became evident that species differences limit transferability of research findings between human and rodents in pain research. Thus, it is necessary to systematically compare and categorize the electrophysiological data gained from human and rodent dorsal root ganglia neurons (DRGs). In this systematic review, we condense the available electrophysiological data defining subidentities in human and rat DRGs. A systematic search on PUBMED yielded 30 studies on rat and 3 studies on human sensory neurons. Defined outcome parameters included current clamp, voltage clamp, cell morphology, pharmacological readouts, and immune reactivity parameters. We compare evidence gathered for outcome markers to define subgroups, offer electrophysiological parameters for the definition of neuronal subtypes, and give a framework for the transferability of electrophysiological findings between species. A semiquantitative analysis revealed that for rat DRGs, there is an overarching consensus between studies that C-fiber linked sensory neurons display a lower action potential threshold, higher input resistance, a larger action potential overshoot, and a longer afterhyperpolarization duration compared to other sensory neurons. They are also more likely to display an infliction point in the falling phase of the action potential. This systematic review points out the need of more electrophysiological studies on human sensory neurons.

2022 ◽  
Jennifer M Lin ◽  
Tyler A Mitchell ◽  
Megan Rothstein ◽  
Alison Pehl ◽  
Ed Zandro M Taroc ◽  

Neuronal identity dictates the position in an epithelium, and the ability to detect, process, and transmit specific signals to specified targets. Transcription factors (TFs) determine cellular identity via direct modulation of genetic transcription and recruiting chromatin modifiers. However, our understanding of the mechanisms that define neuronal identity and their magnitude remains a critical barrier to elucidate the etiology of congenital and neurodegenerative disorders. The rodent vomeronasal organ provides a unique system to examine in detail the molecular mechanisms underlying the differentiation and maturation of chemosensory neurons. Here we demonstrated that the identity of postmitotic/maturing VSNs and vomeronasal dependent behaviors can be reprogrammed through the rescue of AP-2ε expression in the AP-2ε Null mice and by inducing ectopic AP-2ε expression in mature apical VSNs. We suggest that the transcription factor AP-2ε can reprogram VSNs bypassing cellular plasticity restrictions, and that it directly controls the expression of batteries of vomeronasal genes.

Nano Letters ◽  
2022 ◽  
Hyejin Lee ◽  
Seong Won Cho ◽  
Seon Jeong Kim ◽  
Jaesang Lee ◽  
Keun Su Kim ◽  

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Sinisa Prelic ◽  
Venkatesh Pal Mahadevan ◽  
Vignesh Venkateswaran ◽  
Sofia Lavista-Llanos ◽  
Bill S. Hansson ◽  

Insects detect volatile chemicals using antennae, which house a vast variety of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) that innervate hair-like structures called sensilla where odor detection takes place. In addition to OSNs, the antenna also hosts various support cell types. These include the triad of trichogen, tormogen, and thecogen support cells that lie adjacent to their respective OSNs. The arrangement of OSN supporting cells occurs stereotypically for all sensilla and is widely conserved in evolution. While insect chemosensory neurons have received considerable attention, little is known about the functional significance of the cells that support them. For instance, it remains unknown whether support cells play an active role in odor detection, or only passively contribute to homeostasis, e.g., by maintaining sensillum lymph composition. To investigate the functional interaction between OSNs and support cells, we used optical and electrophysiological approaches in Drosophila. First, we characterized the distribution of various supporting cells using genetic markers. By means of an ex vivo antennal preparation and genetically-encoded Ca2+ and K+ indicators, we then studied the activation of these auxiliary cells during odor presentation in adult flies. We observed acute responses and distinct differences in Ca2+ and K+ fluxes between support cell types. Finally, we observed alterations in OSN responses upon thecogen cell ablation in mature adults. Upon inducible ablation of thecogen cells, we notice a gain in mechanical responsiveness to mechanical stimulations during single-sensillum recording, but a lack of change to the neuronal resting activity. Taken together, these results demonstrate that support cells play a more active and responsive role during odor processing than previously thought. Our observations thus reveal that support cells functionally interact with OSNs and may be important for the extraordinary ability of insect olfactory systems to dynamically and sensitively discriminate between odors in the turbulent sensory landscape of insect flight.

2022 ◽  
Vol 19 (1) ◽  
Xavier Mas-Orea ◽  
Lilian Basso ◽  
Catherine Blanpied ◽  
Claire Gaveriaux-Ruff ◽  
Nicolas Cenac ◽  

Abstract Background Inflammatory visceral pain is endogenously controlled by enkephalins locally released by mucosal CD4+ T lymphocytes in mice. The present study aimed at identifying opioid receptor(s) expressed on nociceptive sensory nerves involved in this peripheral opioid-mediated analgesia. Methods The peripheral analgesia associated with the accumulation of CD4+ T lymphocytes within the inflamed colonic mucosa was assessed in conditional knockout mice specifically deleted for either of the two opioid receptors for enkephalins (i.e., µ (MOR) and δ (DOR) receptors) in Nav1.8-expressing sensory neurons in the dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis model. Results Endogenous analgesia is lost in conditional knockout mice for DOR, but not MOR at the later phase of the DSS-induced colitis. The absence of either of the opioid receptors on sensory nerves had no impact on both the colitis severity and the rate of T lymphocytes infiltrating the inflamed colonic mucosa. Conclusion The key role of DOR on primary afferents in relieving intestinal inflammatory pain opens new therapeutic opportunities for peripherally restricted DOR analgesics to avoid most of the side effects associated with MOR-targeting drugs used in intestinal disorders.

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Li Zhang ◽  
Sen Chen ◽  
Yu Sun

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is one of the most prevalent sensory deficits in humans, and approximately 360 million people worldwide are affected. The current treatment option for severe to profound hearing loss is cochlear implantation (CI), but its treatment efficacy is related to the survival of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs). SGNs are the primary sensory neurons, transmitting complex acoustic information from hair cells to second-order sensory neurons in the cochlear nucleus. In mammals, SGNs have very limited regeneration ability, and SGN loss causes irreversible hearing loss. In most cases of SNHL, SGN damage is the dominant pathogenesis, and it could be caused by noise exposure, ototoxic drugs, hereditary defects, presbycusis, etc. Tremendous efforts have been made to identify novel treatments to prevent or reverse the damage to SGNs, including gene therapy and stem cell therapy. This review summarizes the major causes and the corresponding mechanisms of SGN loss and the current protection strategies, especially gene therapy and stem cell therapy, to promote the development of new therapeutic methods.

PLoS Genetics ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 18 (1) ◽  
pp. e1009968
Geneva M. Cunningham ◽  
Fei Shen ◽  
Xi Wu ◽  
Erica L. Cantor ◽  
Laura Gardner ◽  

Taxane-induced peripheral neuropathy (TIPN) is a devastating survivorship issue for many cancer patients. In addition to its impact on quality of life, this toxicity may lead to dose reductions or treatment discontinuation, adversely impacting survival outcomes and leading to health disparities in African Americans (AA). Our lab has previously identified deleterious mutations in SET-Binding Factor 2 (SBF2) that significantly associated with severe TIPN in AA patients. Here, we demonstrate the impact of SBF2 on taxane-induced neuronal damage using an ex vivo model of SBF2 knockdown of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived sensory neurons. Knockdown of SBF2 exacerbated paclitaxel changes to cell viability and neurite outgrowth while attenuating paclitaxel-induced sodium current inhibition. Our studies identified paclitaxel-induced expression changes specific to mature sensory neurons and revealed candidate genes involved in the exacerbation of paclitaxel-induced phenotypes accompanying SBF2 knockdown. Overall, these findings provide ex vivo support for the impact of SBF2 on the development of TIPN and shed light on the potential pathways involved.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Yongmin Liu ◽  
Min Jia ◽  
Caihua Wu ◽  
Hong Zhang ◽  
Chao Chen ◽  

Type 1 and type 2 cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2, respectively) mediate cannabinoid-induced analgesia. Loss of endogenous CB1 is associated with hyperalgesia. However, the downstream targets affected by ablation of CB1 in primary sensory neurons remain unknown. In the present study, we hypothesized that conditional knockout of CB1 in primary sensory neurons (CB1cKO) alters downstream gene expression in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and that targeting these pathways alleviates neuropathic pain. We found that CB1cKO in primary sensory neurons induced by tamoxifen in adult Advillin-Cre:CB1-floxed mice showed persistent hyperalgesia. Transcriptome/RNA sequencing analysis of the DRG indicated that differentially expressed genes were enriched in energy regulation and complement and coagulation cascades at the early phase of CB1cKO, whereas pain regulation and nerve conduction pathways were affected at the late phase of CB1cKO. Chronic constriction injury in mice induced neuropathic pain and changed transcriptome expression in the DRG of CB1cKO mice, and differentially expressed genes were mainly associated with inflammatory and immune-related pathways. Nerve injury caused a much larger increase in CB2 expression in the DRG in CB1cKO than in wildtype mice. Interfering with downstream target genes of CB1, such as antagonizing CB2, inhibited activation of astrocytes, reduced neuroinflammation, and alleviated neuropathic pain. Our results demonstrate that CB1 in primary sensory neurons functions as an endogenous analgesic mediator. CB2 expression is regulated by CB1 and may be targeted for the treatment of neuropathic pain.

2021 ◽  
Annika Cichy ◽  
Adam Dewan ◽  
Jingji Zhang ◽  
Sarah Kaye ◽  
Tiffany Teng ◽  

While the olfactory system is required for proper social behaviors, the molecular basis for how social cues are detected via the main olfactory pathway of mammals is not well-characterized. Trimethylamine is a volatile, sex-specific odor found in adult male mouse urine that selectively activates main olfactory sensory neurons that express trace amine-associated receptor 5 (TAAR5). Here we show that trimethylamine, acting via TAAR5, elicits state-dependent attraction or aversion in male mice and drives inter-male aggression. Genetic knockout of TAAR5 significantly reduces aggression-related behaviors, while adding trimethylamine augments aggressive behavior towards juvenile males. We further show that transgenic expression of TAAR5 specifically in olfactory sensory neurons rescues aggressive behaviors in knockout mice, despite extensive remapping of TAAR5 projections to the olfactory bulb. Our results identify a specific main olfactory input that detects a prominent male-specific odor to induce inter-male aggression in a mammalian species and reveal that apparently innate behavioral responses are independent of patterned glomerular input to the olfactory bulb.

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