TRPM8 protein localization in trigeminal ganglion and taste papillae

Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2005 May 20;136(1-2):91-8. doi: 10.1016/j.molbrainres.2005.01.013. Epub 2005 Mar 2.


TRPM8 is a TRP family cation channel which can be activated by cold stimuli or l-menthol. However, TRPM8 protein localization of nerve terminals in sensory organs remains unknown. Here we generated an antibody against TRPM8 and analyzed TRPM8 protein localization in trigeminal ganglia (TG) and in sensory nerve fibers in the tongue. TRPM8 immunoreactivity was detected in a subset of neurons with a small diameter in TG and in nerve fibers in the tongue. TRPM8-immunoreactive nerve fibers were rich in fungiform papillae, but sparse in foliate and circumvallate papillae. The TRPM8-immunoreactive nerve fibers reached the outer epithelial layer in each papilla, while no TRPM8-immunoreactive nerve fibers penetrated into taste buds. Double labeling analysis revealed that TRPM8 immunoreactivity was co-expressed with a part of TRPV1 or CGRP-immunoreactive neurons in TG. However, TRPM8 immunoreactivity was not observed in TRPV1- or CGRP-positive nerve fibers in fungiform, foliate, and circumvallate papillae. These results suggest that TRPM8 protein is present in sensory lingual nerve fibers mainly projected from TG and might work as cold and l-menthol receptors on tongue.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Blotting, Western / methods
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Ion Channels / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurofilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • TRPM Cation Channels
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • Taste Buds / metabolism*
  • Tongue / cytology*
  • Tongue / metabolism
  • Transfection / methods
  • Trigeminal Ganglion / cytology
  • Trigeminal Ganglion / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase / metabolism


  • Ion Channels
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Neurofilament Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • TRPM Cation Channels
  • TRPM8 protein, human
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • Trpm8 protein, rat
  • Trpv1 protein, rat
  • neurofilament protein H
  • UCHL1 protein, rat
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide