Previous studies reported that a subpopulation of mouse and rat trigeminal neurons express water channel aquaporin-1 (AQP1). In this study we make a comparative investigation of AQP1 localization in the human and mouse trigeminal systems. Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence results showed that AQP1 was localized to the cytoplasm and cell membrane of some medium and small-sized trigeminal neurons. Additionally, AQP1 was found in numerous peripheral trigeminal axons of humans and mice. In the central trigeminal root and brain stem, AQP1 was specifically expressed in astrocytes of humans, but was restricted to nerve fibers within the central trigeminal root and spinal trigeminal tract and nucleus in mice. Furthermore, AQP1 positive nerve fibers were present in the mucosal and submucosal layers of human and mouse oral tissues, but not in the muscular and subcutaneous layers. Fluorogold retrograde tracing demonstrated that AQP1 positive trigeminal neurons innervate the mucosa but not skin of cheek. These results reveal there are similarities and differences in the cellular localization of AQP1 between the human and mouse trigeminal systems. Selective expression of AQP1 in the trigeminal neurons innervating the oral mucosa indicates an involvement of AQP1 in oral sensory transduction.

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Publication Date

Fall 2012

Notes/Citation Information

Published in PLoS ONE, v. 7, no. 9, e46379.

©2012, Gao, J., Tan, M., Gu, M., Marshall, C., Ding, J., et al. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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