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ISSN : 1226-7155(Print)
ISSN : 2287-6618(Online)
International Journal of Oral Biology Vol.34 No.4 pp.191-197

Effects of Somatostatin on the Substantia Gelatinosa Neurons of the Trigeminal Subnucleus Caudalis in the Adult Mice

Seong-Kyu Han, Park Seon-Ah , Yin Hua , Bhattarai Janardhan P. Park Soo-Joung
Department of Oral Physiology & Institute of Oral Bioscience, School of Dentistry & BK21 Project, Chonbuk National University


Somatostatin (SST) is a known neuromodulator of the central nervous system. The substantia gelatinosa (SG) of the trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (Vc) receives many thinmyelinated Að-fiber and unmyelinated C primary afferent fibers and is involved in nociceptive processing. Many studies have demonstrated that SST plays a pivotal role in pain modulation in the spinal cord. However, little is yet known about the direct effects of SST on the SG neurons of the Vc in adult mice. In our present study, we investigated the direct membrane effects of SST and a type 2 SST receptor agonist, seglitide (SEG), on the SG neurons of the Vc using a gramicidin-perforated current clamp in adult mice. The majority (53%, n = 27/51) of the adult SG neurons were hyperpolarized by SST (300 nM) but no differences were found in the hyperpolarization response rate between males and females. When SST was applied successively, the second response was smaller (76±9.5%, n=19), suggesting that SST receptors are desensitized by repeated application. SST-induced hyperpolarization was also maintained under conditions where presynaptic events were blocked (75±1.0%, n=5), suggesting that this neuromodulator exerts direct effects upon postsynaptic SG neurons. SEG was further found to induce membrane hyperpolarization of the SG neurons of the Vc. These results collectively demonstrate that SST inhibits the SG neuronal activities of the Vc in adult mice with no gender bias, and that these effects are mediated via a type 2 SST receptor, suggesting that this is a potential target for orofacial pain modulation.