Development of primary sensory neurons in the trigeminal nervous system; dependency on neurotrophins and other substances

Hiroyuki Ichikawa, Saburo Matsuo, Tomosada Sugimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This review presents information about the development of primary sensory neurons in the trigeminal nervous system. The deficiency of high affinity receptors for nerve growth factor (trkA) and neurotrophin-3 (trk-C) causesa reduction of primary nociceptors in the trigeminal ganglion (TG). The disruption of trkB, a receptor for brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-4, causes a loss of Meissner endings in the palate and Ruffini endings in the periodontal ligament. The number of Merkel cells in palatal rugae is also severely reduced by the absence of trkA, trkB or trkC. In the mesencephalic trigeminal tract nucleus (Mes5), primary proprioceptors are decreased by 50% in trkC null mutant mice. On the other hand, the deficiency of Brn-3a, a member of the POU family of transcription factors, decreases primary nociceptors and low-threshold mechanoreceptors in the TG. In the Mes5 of Brn-3a knockout mice, primary proprioceptors are completely lost. In addition, the disruption of dystonin which is a member of the plakin family of high molecular weight cytoskeletal linker proteins causes a reduction of nociceptors in the TG but not proprioceptors in the Mes5. The dependency of primary nociceptors, low-threshold mechanoreceptors and proprioceptors on neurotrophins, Brn-3a and dystonin in the trigeminal nervous system is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-52
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Dental Science Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb


  • Brn-3a
  • Dystonin
  • Knockout mouse
  • Mesencephalic trigeminal tract nucleus
  • Neurotrophin
  • Trigeminal ganglion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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