Sodium channel Nav1.8 immunoreactivity in painful human dental pulp.
Renton T., Yiangou Y., Plumpton C., Tate S., Bountra C., Anand P.
BACKGROUND: The tetrodotoxin-resistant voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.8 (SNS1/PN3) is expressed by nociceptors and may play a role in pain states. METHODS: Using specific antibodies for immunohistochemistry, we studied Nav1.8 immunoreactivity in human dental pulp in relation to the neuronal marker neurofilament. Human tooth pulp was extracted from teeth harvested from a total of twenty-two patients (fourteen without dental pain, eight patients with dental pain). RESULTS: Fibres immunoreactive for Nav1.8, were significantly increased on image analysis in the painful group: median (range) Nav1.8 to Neurofilament % area ratio, non-painful 0.059 (0.006-0.24), painful 0.265 (0.13-0.5), P = 0.0019. CONCLUSION: Nav1.8 sodium channels may thus represent a therapeutic target in trigeminal nerve pain states.