Characterization of sensory neuronal subtypes innervating mouse tongue

Ping Wu, Dominic Arris, Max Grayson, Chia Nung Hung, Shivani Ruparel

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22 Scopus citations


The tongue is uniquely exposed to water-soluble environmental chemicals that may lead to injury or tumorigenesis. However, comparatively little research has focused on the molecular and functional organization of trigeminal ganglia (TG) afferent neurons innervating the tongue. The current study identified and characterized lingual sensory neurons based on a neuronal subtype classification previously characterized in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. We employed immunohistochemistry on transgenic reporter mouse lines as well as single-cell PCR of known markers of neuronal subtypes to characterize neuronal subtypes innervating the tongue. Markers expressed in retrogradely labeled TG neurons were evaluated for the proportion of neurons expressing each marker, intensity of expression, and overlapping genes. We found that tongue-innervating sensory neurons primarily expressed CGRP, TRPV1, TrkC, 5HT3A and Parvalbumin. These markers correspond to peptidergic and a subgroup of non-peptidergic C-nociceptors, peptidergic A nociceptors, proprioceptors and myelinated low-threshold mechanoreceptors (LTMRs). Interestingly, as reported previously, we also found several differences between TG and DRG neurons indicating the need for single-cell sequencing of neuronal types based on tissue type within all TG as well as DRG neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0207069
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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