Distribution of P2X1, P2X2, and P2X3 receptor subunits in rat primary afferents: relation to population markers and specific cell types.J Chem Neuroanat 2000; 20(2):141-62JC
We determined the co-expression of immunoreactivity (IR) for ATP-receptor subunits (P2X1, P2X2, and P2X3), neuropeptides, neurofilament (NF), and binding of the isolectin B(4) from Griffonia simplicifolia type one (GS-I-B(4)) in adult dorsal root ganglion neurons. P2X1-IR was expressed primarily in small DRG neurons. Most P2X1-IR neurons expressed neuropeptides and/or GS-I-B(4)-binding, but lacked NF-IR. P2X1-IR overlapped with P2X3-IR, though each was also found alone. P2X2-IR was expressed in many P2X3-IR small neurons, as well as a group of medium to large neurons that lacked either P2X3-IR or GS-I-B(4)-binding. A novel visible four-channel fluorescence technique revealed a unique population of P2X2/3-IR neurons that lacked GS-I-B(4)-binding but expressed NF-IR. Co-expression of P2X1, and P2X3 in individual neurons was also demonstrated. We examined P2X subunit-IR on individual recorded neurons that had been classified by current signature in vitro. Types 1, 2, 4 5, and 7 expressed distinct patterns of P2X-IR that corresponded to patterns identified in DRG sections, and had distinct responses to ATP. Types with rapid ATP currents (types 2, 5, and 7) displayed P2X3-IR and/or P2X1-IR. Types with slow ATP currents (types 1 and 4) displayed P2X2/3-IR. Type 1 neurons also displayed P2X1-IR. This study demonstrates that the correlation between physiological responses to ATP and the expression of particular P2X receptor subunits derived from expression systems is also present in native neurons, and also suggests that novel functional subunit combinations likely exist.