Systemic pregabalin attenuates facial hypersensitivity and noxious stimulus-evoked release of glutamate in medullary dorsal horn in a rodent model of trigeminal neuropathic pain.
BACKGROUND There is increasing evidence that peripheral glutamate signaling mechanism is involved in the nociceptive transmission during pathological conditions. However, little is known about the glutamate signaling mechanism and related specific type of vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) in the dental pulp following inflammation. To address this issue, we investigated expression and protein levels of VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 in the dental pulp and trigeminal ganglion (TG) following complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) application to the rat dental pulp by light microscopic immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. RESULTS The density of VGLUT2- immunopositive (+) axons in the dental pulp and the number of VGLUT2+ soma in the TG increased significantly in the CFA-treated group, compared to control group. The protein levels of VGLUT2 in the dental pulp and TG were also significantly higher in the CFA-treated group than control group by Western blot analysis. The density of VGLUT1+ axons in the dental pulp and soma in the TG remained unchanged in the CFA-treated group. CONCLUSIONS These findings suggest that glutamate signaling that is mediated by VGLUT2 in the pulpal axons may be enhanced in the inflamed dental pulp, which may contribute to pulpal axon sensitization leading to hyperalgesia following inflammation.