Differential development of TRPV1-expressing sensory nerves in peripheral organs

Cell Tissue Res. 2006 Jan;323(1):27-41. doi: 10.1007/s00441-005-0013-3. Epub 2005 Sep 2.


In mouse ontogeny, neurons immunoreactive for transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) were observed primarily in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) at embryonic day 13 (E13). In the embryonic period, the number of TRPV1(+) neurons decreased, but then gradually increased postnatally. Some of TRPV1(+) neurons were also immunoreactive for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). At postnatal day 7 (P7), 66% of CGRP(+) neurons were TRPV1(+), and 55% of TRPV1(+) neurons were also CGRP(+) in the L4 DRG. In the peripheral organs, TRPV1-immunorective nerve fibers were transiently observed in the skin at E14. They were also observed in the urinary tract at E14, and in the rectum at E15. Many TRPV1(+) nerve fibers in these organs were also CGRP(+). At P1, TRPV1(+) nerve fibers were observed in the respiratory organs, and to a lesser extent in the stomach, colon, skin, and skeletal muscles. The number of TRPV1(+) nerve fibers on each organ gradually increased postnatally. At P7, TRPV1(+) nerve fibers were also observed in the small intestine and kidneys. The percentage of total TRPV1(+) nerve fibers that co-localized with CGRP was greater in most organs at P7 than at P1. The present results indicate that TRPV1 expression on peripheral processes differs among organs. The differential time course of TRPV1 expression in the cell bodies might be related to the organs to which they project. Co-localization of TRPV1 with CGRP on nerve fibers also varies among organs. This suggests that the TRPV1-mediated neuropeptide release that occurs in certain pathophysiologic conditions also varies among organs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular System / embryology
  • Cardiovascular System / innervation
  • Ganglia, Spinal / cytology
  • Ganglia, Spinal / embryology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / embryology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / innervation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Mice
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism*
  • Respiratory System / embryology
  • Respiratory System / innervation
  • TRPV Cation Channels / metabolism*
  • Urinary Tract / embryology
  • Urinary Tract / innervation


  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide