Immunohistochemistry for parvalbumin, calbindin D-28k, calretinin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) was performed on the trigeminal ganglion and oro-facial tissues in Brn-3a wildtype and knockout mice at embryonic day 18.5 and postnatal day 0. In wildtype mice, the trigeminal ganglion contained abundant parvalbumin-, calbindin D-28k- and CGRP-immunoreactive neurons while the ganglion was almost devoid of calretinin-immunoreactive neurons. In Brn-3a knockout mice, a 63% decrease of parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons was detected. In contrast, the absence of Brn-3a dramatically increased the number of calbindin D-28k-immunoreactive (3.5-fold increase) and calretinin-immunoreactive neurons (91-fold increase). The number of CGRP-immunoreactive neurons, however, was not altered by the Brn-3a deficiency. Cell size analysis indicated that loss of Brn-3a increased the proportions of small (<100 μm2) parvalbumin-, calbindin D-28k- and CGRP-immunoreactive neurons while it decreased those of large (>200 μm2) immunoreactive cells. Calretinin-immunoreactive neurons were either small or medium (100-200 μm2) in mutant mice. The oro-facial tissues contained parvalbumin-, calbindin D-28k- and CGRP-immunoreactive fibers, but not calretinin-immunoreactive ones in wildtype mice. In Brn-3a knockout mice, the number of parvalbumin-immunoreactive fibers markedly decreased in the infraorbital nerve and parvalbumin-immunoreactive endings disappeared in the vibrissa. In contrast, the number of calbindin D-28k-immunoreactive fibers increased significantly in the infraorbital and mental nerves. In addition, calbindin D-28k-immunoreactive endings appeared in the vibrissa. As well, some fibers showed calretinin-immunoreactivity in the infraorbital nerve of the mutant. However, no obvious change of CGRP-immunoreactive fibers was observed in the oro-facial region of knockout mice. Taken together, our data suggest that Brn-3a deficiency has effects on the expression of neurochemical substances in the trigeminal ganglion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas