Immunoglobulin-free light chains (IgLC) secreted by B lymphocytes, have been shown to mediate hypersensitivity by inducing antigen-specific mast cell activation. Although both mast cells and sensory neurons contribute to the hypersensitivity response, the role of IgLC in relation to sensory neurons is unknown. We therefore aimed to investigate the effects of IgLC on cultures of murine dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that IgLC and IgE could specifically bind to DRG neurons, on which the presence of FcepsilonRI, the specific receptor for IgE, was demonstrated by western blotting. Further, optical recordings with Fluo-4 showed that application of the corresponding antigen to IgLC- or IgE-sensitized DRG neurons induces a sustained increase in intracellular Ca(2+) in about half of these neurons. These results show that IgLC and IgE can mediate antigen-specific responses in murine neurons. Our findings present a novel way of antigen-specific neuronal activation.