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Original Article

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2019; 23(4): 271-279

Published online July 1, 2019

Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.

Potentiation of the glycine response by serotonin on the substantia gelatinosa neurons of the trigeminal subnucleus caudalis in mice

Hoang Thi Thanh Nguyen1,#, Dong Hyu Cho2,#, Seon Hui Jang1, Seong Kyu Han1, and Soo Joung Park1,*

1Department of Oral Physiology, School of Dentistry and Institute of Oral Bioscience, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chonbuk National University Hospital and School of Medicine, Jeonju 54896, Korea

Correspondence to:Soo Joung Park

Received: April 5, 2019; Revised: June 5, 2019; Accepted: June 7, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The lamina II, also called the substantia gelatinosa (SG), of the trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (Vc), is thought to play an essential role in the control of orofacial nociception. Glycine and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) are the important neurotransmitters that have the individual parts on the modulation of nociceptive transmission. However, the electrophysiological effects of 5-HT on the glycine receptors on SG neurons of the Vc have not been well studied yet. For this reason, we applied the whole-cell patch clamp technique to explore the interaction of intracellular signal transduction between 5-HT and the glycine receptors on SG neurons of the Vc in mice. In nine of 13 neurons tested (69.2%), pretreatment with 5-HT potentiated glycine-induced current (IGly). Firstly, we examined with a 5-HT1 receptor agonist (8-OH-DPAT, 5-HT1/7 agonist, co-applied with SB-269970, 5-HT7 antagonist) and antagonist (WAY-100635), but 5-HT1 receptor agonist did not increase IGly and in the presence of 5-HT1 antagonist, the potentiation of 5-HT on IGly still happened. However, an agonist (α-methyl-5-HT) and antagonist (ketanserin) of the 5-HT2 receptor mimicked and inhibited the enhancing effect of 5-HT on IGly in the SG neurons, respectively. We also verified the role of the 5-HT7 receptor by using a 5-HT7 antagonist (SB-269970) but it also did not block the enhancement of 5-HT on IGly. Our study demonstrated that 5-HT facilitated IGly in the SG neurons of the Vc through the 5-HT2 receptor. The interaction between 5-HT and glycine appears to have a significant role in modulating the transmission of the nociceptive pathway.

Keywords: Glycine receptor, Patch-clamp techniques, Serotonin, Substantia gelatinosa