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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Capsaicin receptor VR1 and ATP purinoceptor P2X3 in painful and nonpainful human tooth pulp.

AIMS: To investigate the levels of the capsaicin or vanilloid receptor-1 (VR1) and the ATP-gated purinoceptor P2X3 in painful and nonpainful human tooth pulps. METHODS: Immunohistochemistry with specific antibodies and image analysis was used to quantify VR1- and P2X3-positive nerve fibers in painful (n = 13) and nonpainful (n = 33) human tooth pulps, and VR1 immunoreactivity was compared with immunoreactivity for the structural neuronal marker peripherin. RESULTS: Strong VR1-like immunoreactivity was documented for the first time in dental pulp neurons. Weaker P2X3-like immunoreactivity was also detected in fewer nerve fibers. The ratio of VR1 to peripherin immunoreactivity was not significantly different between nonpainful and painful tissues (mean +/- SE% area of VR1 to peripherin; nonpainful 53.4 +/- 4.7%, n = 33; pulpitis 35.1 +/- 7.1%, n = 13; P = .07). CONCLUSION: The presence of VR1 and P2X3 in fibers of human tooth pulp suggest that they may play a role in perception of dental pain, but further studies, including quantitation of their ligands, are necessary to elucidate any role they may play in pathophysiologic states.[1]


  1. Capsaicin receptor VR1 and ATP purinoceptor P2X3 in painful and nonpainful human tooth pulp. Renton, T., Yiangou, Y., Baecker, P.A., Ford, A.P., Anand, P. Journal of orofacial pain. (2003) [Pubmed]
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