Neurokinin-1 receptor expression in dorsal root ganglion neurons of young rats

Peter Szucs, Erika Polgar, Igor Spigelman, Robert Porszasz, Istvan Nagy

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The expression of neurokinin-1 receptors was studied in the fourth lumbar dorsal root ganglia of young rats using immunohistochemical and electrophysiological techniques. Use of a specific immunoserum raised against the C-terminal fragment of rat neurokinin-1 receptor revealed immunoreactivity in 32 ± 1.5% of dorsal root ganglion neurons. The diameter of the majority of the neurokinin-1 receptor immunostained neurons was smaller than 30 μm. Double immunohistochemical labelling using neurokinin-1 receptor and substance P antibodies revealed that about 1/3 of the neurokinin-1 receptor expressing neuron contains substance P. Likewise, about 1/3 of the substance P producing DRG cells expressed the neurokinin-1 receptor. Superfusion of substance P (1 μM) to an in vitro preparation of the fourth lumbar dorsal root ganglion induced a reversible long-lasting depolarization as measured by extracellular suction electrodes attached to the dorsal roots. This response to substance P was only partially antagonized by the selective neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist RP 67580 (1 μM). Intracellular recordings distinguished between Aα/β-, Aδ- and C-sub-types of ganglion neurons. Superfusion of substance P (1 μM) evoked excitatory responses in Aδ- and C-type neurons. These results demonstrate the expression of functional neurokinin-1 receptors on a subpopulation of Aδ- and C-type sensory ganglion neurons. Our data suggest the possible physiological importance of peripheral neurokinin-1 receptors located on dorsal root ganglion neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-278
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Peripheral Nervous System
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1999


  • Electrophysiology
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Sensory neuron
  • Substance P

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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