Blast-associated sensory and cognitive trauma sustained by military service members is an area of extensively studied research. Recent studies in our laboratory have revealed that low-level blast exposure increased expression of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and endothelin-1 (ET-1), proteins well characterized for their role in mediating pain transmission, in the cornea. Determining the functional consequences of these alterations in protein expression is critical to understanding blast-related sensory trauma. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine TRPV1 and ET-1 expression in ocular associated sensory tissues following primary and tertiary blast. A rodent model of blast injury was used in which anesthetized animals, unrestrained or restrained, received a single or repeat blast (73.8 ± 5.5 kPa) from a compressed air shock tube once or daily for five consecutive days, respectively. Behavioral and functional analyses were conducted to assess blast effects on nocifensive behavior and TRPV1 activity. Immunohistochemistry and Western Blot were also performed with trigeminal ganglia (TG) to determine TRPV1, ET-1 and glial fibrillary associated protein (GFAP) expression following blast. Increased TRPV1, ET-1 and GFAP were detected in the TG of animals exposed to repeat blast. Increased nocifensive responses were also observed in animals exposed to repeat, tertiary blast as compared to single blast and control. Moreover, decreased TRPV1 desensitization was observed in TG neurons exposed to repeat blast. Repeat, tertiary blast resulted in increased TRPV1, ET-1 and GFAP expression in the TG, enhanced nociception and decreased TRPV1 desensitization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)