Lingual innervation in male and female marmosets

Meilinn Tram, Tarek Ibrahim, Anahit Hovhannisyan, Armen Akopian, Shivani Ruparel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Several gaps in knowledge exists in our understanding of orofacial pain. Some of these include type of peripheral sensory innervation in specific tissues, differences in innervation between sexes and validation of rodent studies in higher order species. The current study addresses these gaps by validating mouse studies for sensory innervation of tongue tissue in non-human primates as well as assesses sex-specific differences. Tongue and trigeminal ganglia were collected from naïve male and female marmosets and tested for nerve fibers using specific markers by immunohistochemistry and number of fibers quantified. We also tested whether specific subgroups of nerve fibers belonged to myelinating or non-myelinating axons. We observed that similar to findings in mice, marmoset tongue was innervated with nerve filaments expressing nociceptor markers like CGRP and TRPV1 as well as non-nociceptor markers like TrkB, parvalbumin (PV) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Furthermore, we found that while portion of TrkB and PV may be sensory fibers, TH-positive fibers were primarily sympathetic nerve fibers. Moreover, number of CGRP, TrkB and TH-positive nerve fibers were similar in both sexes. However, we observed a higher proportion of myelinated TRPV1 positive fibers in females than in males as well as increased number of PV + fibers in females. Taken together, the study for the first time characterizes sensory innervation in non-human primates as well as evaluates sex-differences in innervation of tongue tissue, thereby laying the foundation for future orofacial pain research with new world smaller NHPs like the common marmoset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100134
JournalNeurobiology of Pain
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023


  • Lingual
  • Marmoset
  • Non-Human Primates
  • Sensory Innervation
  • Sex-differences
  • Tongue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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