The primary sensory neurons use glutamate as a major neurotransmitter. Several neuropeptides are also found in these neurons. In our laboratory we demonstrated secretin-like immunoreactivity in primary sensory neurons of several species including human, rat and cat. In the present experiment utilizing in situ hybridization, we have demonstrated for the first time that secretin is not only immunostained but is also expressed in the primary sensory neurons of the trigeminal ganglion of male rats. In intact rats, secretin mRNA was not observed; we had to use intracerebroventricular colchicine administration to induce the expression of secretin. Secretin was expressed in about 5% of the cells in all the three subdivisions of the trigeminal ganglion. The secretin-synthetizing cells were large and medium sized, and their mean diameter was about 50 μm. When we compared the percentage and the size of secretin to that of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), substance-P (SP) and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) cells, it was found that CGRP, SP and VIP are present in about 15-20% of the cells and their mean diameter is about 20-25 μm. The morphometric data indicate that secretin is present in a subdivision of neurons that is different from the subdivision of the CGRP, SP and VIP cells. It is suggested that secretin may modulate the function of the primary neurotransmitter.
- In situ hybridization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience