Immunocytochemical localization of the neurokinin 1 receptor in rat dental pulp

Mizuho A. Kido, Teiichi Ibuki, Atsushi Danjo, Teruyoshi Kondo, Jing Qi Zhang, Takayoshi Yamaza, Yoshio Yamashita, Yoshinori Higuchi, Teruo Tanaka

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The dentin-pulp complex is a peripheral end-organ supplied by dense sensory nerve fibers. Substance P, a representative neuropeptide widely distributed in the dental pulp, has been reported to play roles in pain transmission and the amplification of inflammation. We analyzed here the expression of the neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor, preferentially activated by substance P, using immunocytochemistry in rat dental pulp at both the light and electron microscopic levels. Conspicuous NK1 receptor immunoreactivity was found in the odontoblasts; immunolabelings were present at their plasma membrane and endosomal structures, especially in their cytoplasmic processes. Immunoreactions for NK1 receptor were also detectable in a part of the nerve terminals associated with the cytoplasmic processes of the odontoblasts. Furthermore, the endothelial cells of capillaries and post-capillary venules and the fibroblasts were labeled with the NK1 receptor in the subodontoblast layer. These findings suggest that pulpal cells and nerve fibers are targets for substance P that mediate multiple functions, including a vasoactive function and the regulation of vascular permeability as well as the modulation of pain transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Histology and Cytology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Histology


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