Expression of G protein-coupled receptor 30 in the spinal somatosensory system

Keiko Takanami, Hirotaka Sakamoto, Ken Ichi Matsuda, Koji Hosokawa, Mayumi Nishi, Eric R. Prossnitz, Mitsuhiro Kawata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Estrogens were originally identified as the primary sex steroid hormones in females and regulators of reproductive function and sexual behavior, but it has long been suggested that estrogens also have local effects on the somatosensory system at the spinal cord level. It is well known that the effects of estrogens are mediated by nuclear estrogen receptors (ERs) through genomic action, but recently a membrane-bound G protein-coupled receptor, GPR30, was identified as a non-genomic estrogen receptor. In this study we investigated the presence and localization of GPR30 in the rat spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) in comparison with ERα. Using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, we showed the expression of GPR30 in DRG neurons in male and female rats at mRNA and protein levels without specific sexual difference. A dense accumulation of GPR30 immunoreactivity was observed in the outer layer of the spinal dorsal horn, and selective spinal dorsal rhizotomy revealed that GPR30 was transported from the DRG to terminals located in the spinal dorsal horn. GPR30 expression was downregulated in DRG neurons of ovariectomized female rats. The spinal somatosensory system might be modulated by estradiol via putative membrane ER, GPR30-mediated mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-28
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Dorsal root ganglion
  • Estrogen
  • Estrogen receptor α
  • GPR30
  • Somatosensory neuron system
  • Spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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