Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/11000/5230

Morphological and functional changes in TRPM8-expressing corneal cold thermoreceptor neurons during aging and their impact on tearing in mice


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Title:
Morphological and functional changes in TRPM8-expressing corneal cold thermoreceptor neurons during aging and their impact on tearing in mice
Authors:
Alcalde, Ignacio
Iñigo Portugués, Almudena
González González, Omar
Almaraz, Laura
Artime, Enol
Morenilla Palao, María Cruz
Gallar Martínez, Juana
Viana De la Iglesia, Félix
Merayo Lloves, Jesús
Belmonte Martínez, Carlos
Department:
Departamentos de la UMH::Fisiología
Issue Date:
2018-03-16
Abstract:
Morphological and functional alterations of peripheral somatosensory neurons during the aging process lead to a decline of somatosensory perception. Here, we analyze the changes occurring with aging in trigeminal ganglion (TG), TRPM8-expressing cold thermoreceptor neurons innervating the mouse cornea, which participate in the regulation of basal tearing and blinking and have been implicated in the pathogenesis of dry eye disease (DED). TG cell bodies and axonal branches were examined in a mouse line (TRPM8BAC-EYFP) expressing a fluorescent reporter. In 3 months old animals, about 50% of TG cold thermoreceptor neurons were intensely fluorescent, likely providing strongly fluorescent axons and complex corneal nerve terminals with ongoing activity at 348C and low-threshold, robust responses to cooling. The remaining TRPM81 corneal axons were weakly fluorescent with nonbeaded axons, sparsely ramified nerve terminals, and exhibited a low-firing rate at 348C, responding moderately to cooling pulses as do weakly fluorescent TG neurons. In aged (24 months) mice, the number of weakly fluorescent TG neurons was strikingly high while the morphology of TRPM81 corneal axons changed drastically; 89% were weakly fluorescent, unbranched, and often ending in the basal epithelium. Functionally, 72.5% of aged cold terminals responded as those of young animals, but 27.5% exhibited very low-background activity and abnormal responsiveness to cooling pulses. These morpho-functional changes develop in parallel with an enhancement of tear’s basal flow and osmolarity, suggesting that the aberrant sensory inflow to the brain from impaired peripheral cold thermoreceptors contributes to age-induced abnormal tearing and to the high incidence of DED in elderly people.
Keywords/Subjects:
aging
cold thermoreceptors
dry eye
pain
tearing
trigeminal ganglion
Type of document:
application/pdf
Access rights:
info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
Appears in Collections:
Artículos



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