Differential localization of Acid-sensing ion channels 1 and 2 in human cutaneus pacinian corpuscles

Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2010 Aug;30(6):841-8. doi: 10.1007/s10571-010-9511-2. Epub 2010 Mar 21.


Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are the members of the degenerin/epithelial sodium channel (Deg/ENaC) superfamily which mediate different sensory modalities including mechanosensation. ASICs have been detected in mechanosensory neurons as well as in peripheral mechanoreceptors. We now investigated the distribution of ASIC1, ASIC2, and ASIC3 proteins in human cutaneous Pacinian corpuscles using immunohistochemistry and laser confocal-scanner microscopy. We detected different patterns of expression of these proteins within Pacinian corpuscles. ASIC1 was detected in the central axon co-expressed with RT-97 protein, ASIC2 was expressed by the lamellar cells of the inner core co-localized with S100 protein, and ASIC3 was absent. These results demonstrate for the first time the differential distribution of ASIC1 and ASIC2 in human rapidly adapting low-threshold mechanoreceptors, and suggest specific roles of both proteins in mechanotransduction.

MeSH terms

  • Acid Sensing Ion Channels
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Axons / metabolism
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Pacinian Corpuscles / cytology
  • Pacinian Corpuscles / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Sodium Channels / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • ASIC1 protein, human
  • Acid Sensing Ion Channels
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Sodium Channels