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The transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 is localized at excitatory synapses in the mouse dentate gyrus

, : The transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 is localized at excitatory synapses in the mouse dentate gyrus. Brain Structure & Function 220(2): 1187-1194

The transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) is a non-selective cation channel that plays an important role in pain perception and modulates neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity in the brain. TRPV1 function must lay on its anatomical distribution in the peripheral and central nervous system regions involved in the physiological roles of the channel. However, the anatomical localization of TRPV1 is well established in the periphery, but in the brain it is a matter of debate. While some studies support the presence of TRPV1 in several brain regions, recent evidences suggest a restricted distribution of the channel in the central nervous system. To investigate to what extent central TRPV1 function stands on a precise brain distribution of the channel, we examined the mouse hippocampal dentate molecular layer (ML) where TRPV1 mediates long-term synaptic plasticity. Using pre-embedding immunocytochemistry for high resolution electron microscopy, we show that TRPV1 immunoparticles are highly concentrated in postsynaptic dendritic spines to asymmetric perforant path synapses in the outer 2/3 of the ML. However, TRPV1 is poorly expressed at the excitatory hilar mossy cell synapses in the inner 1/3 of this layer. Importantly, the TRPV1 pattern distribution disappeared in the ML of TRPV1-knockout mice. Taken together, these findings support the notion of the presence of TRPV1 in a brain region where the channel has been shown to have a functional role, such as the perforant path synapses in the hippocampal dentate ML.


PMID: 24487914

DOI: 10.1007/s00429-014-0711-2

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