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29 July 2021 Irradiation of the Normal Murine Tongue Causes Upregulation and Activation of Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) Ion Channels
Yen Lai, Wolfgang Bäumer, Constanza Meneses, Donald M. Roback, James B. Robertson, Santosh K. Mishra, B. Duncan X. Lascelles, Michael W. Nolan
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Abstract

Signal transduction at sensory neurons occurs via transmembrane flux of cations, which is largely governed by the transient receptor potential (TRP) family of ion channels. It is unknown whether TRP channel activation contributes to the pain that accompanies radiation-induced oral mucositis. This study sought to characterize changes in TRP channel expression and function that occur in the locally irradiated tissues and afferent neurons of mice. Female CD-1 mice received single high-dose (27 Gy) tongue irradiation, or sham irradiation. Animals were euthanized either before overt glossitis developed (days 1 and 5 postirradiation), when glossitis was severe (day 11), or after mice had recovered (days 21 and 45). Tongue irradiation caused upregulation of the Trpv1 gene in trigeminal ganglia (TG) neurons. Other TRP genes (Trpv2, Trpv4, Trpa1, Trpm8) and Gfrα3 (which acts upstream of several TRP channels) were also upregulated in TGs and/or tongue tissue, in response to radiation. Ex vivo calcium imaging experiments demonstrated that the proportions of TG neurons responding to histamine (an activator of TRPV1, TRPV4 and TRPA1), TNF-α (an activator of TRPV1, TRPV2 and TRPV4), and capsaicin (a TRPV1 agonist), were increased as early as one day after tongue irradiation; these changes persisted for at least 21 days. In a subsequent experiment, we found that genetic deletion of TRPV1 mitigated weight loss (a surrogate marker of pain severity) in mice with severe glossitis. The results intimate that various TRP channels, and TRPV1 in particular, should be explored as analgesic targets for patients experiencing pain after oral irradiation.

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Yen Lai, Wolfgang Bäumer, Constanza Meneses, Donald M. Roback, James B. Robertson, Santosh K. Mishra, B. Duncan X. Lascelles, and Michael W. Nolan "Irradiation of the Normal Murine Tongue Causes Upregulation and Activation of Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) Ion Channels," Radiation Research 196(4), 331-344, (29 July 2021). https://doi.org/10.1667/RADE-21-000103.1
Received: 14 May 2021; Accepted: 15 July 2021; Published: 29 July 2021
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