ATP plays an important role in the signal transduction between sensory neurons and satellite cells in dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). In primary cultured DRG neurons, ATP is known to be stored in lysosomes via a vesicular nucleotide transporter (VNUT), and to be released into the intercellular space through exocytosis. DRGs consist of large-, medium- and small-sized neurons, which play different roles in sensory transmission, but there is no information on the expression profiles of VNUT in DRG subpopulations. Here, we obtained detailed expression profiles of VNUT in isolated rat DRG tissues. On immunohistochemical analysis, VNUT was found in DRG neurons, and was predominantly expressed by the small- and medium-sized DRG ones, as judged upon visual inspection, and this was compatible with the finding that the number of VNUT-positive DRG neurons in IB4-positive cells was greater than that in NF200-positive ones. These results suggest that VNUT play a role in ATP accumulation in DRG neurons, especially in small- and medium-sized ones, and might be involved in ATP-mediated nociceptive signaling in DRGs.
- Dorsal root ganglion
- Vesicular nucleotide transporter
ASJC Scopus subject areas