Immunohistochemistry for the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) and 2 (TRPV2) was performed on the stellate ganglion and spinal cord in human cadavers. In the stellate ganglion, 25.3% and 16.2% of sympathetic neurons contained TRPV1- and TRPV2-immunoreactivity, respectively. The cell size analysis also demonstrated that proportion of TRPV1- or TRPV2-immunoreactive (-IR) neurons among large (>600μm2) sympathetic neurons (TRPV1, 30.7%; TRPV2, 27.0%) was higher than among small (<600μm2) sympathetic neurons (TRPV1, 22.0%; TRPV2, 13.6%). The present study also demonstrated that 10.0% of sympathetic neurons in the stellate ganglion had pericellular TRPV2-IR nerve fibers. Fourteen percent of large neurons and 7.8% of small neurons were surrounded by TRPV2-IR nerve fibers. TRPV2-immunoreactivity was also detected in about 40% of neuronal cell bodies with pericellular TRPV2-IR nerve fibers. In the lateral horn of the human thoracic spinal cord, TRPV2-immunoreactivity was expressed by some neurons and many varicose fibers surrounding TRPV2-immunonegative neurons. TRPV2-IR pericellular fibers in the stellate ganglion may originate from the lateral horn of the spinal cord. There appears to be TRPV1- or TRPV2-IR sympathetic pathway in the human stellate ganglion and spinal cord.
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