Osteopontin-immunoreactivity in the rat trigeminal ganglion and trigeminal sensory nuclei

Hiroyuki Ichikawa, Kazuo Yamashita, Teruko Takano-Yamamoto, Tomosada Sugimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Osteopontin-immunoreactivity (OPN-ir) was examined in the oro-facial tissues and trigeminal sensory nuclei (principal sensory nucleus and spinal trigeminal nucleus) to ascertain the peripheral ending and central projection of OPN-containing primary sensory neurons in the trigeminal ganglion (TG). No staining was observed using mouse monoclonal anti-OPN antibody preabsorbed with recombinant mature OPN. OPN-immunoreactive (ir) peripheral endings were classified into two types: encapsulated and unencapsulated types. Unencapsulated endings were subdivided into two types: simple and complex types. Simple endings were characterized by the thin neurite that was usually devoid of ramification. These endings were seen in the hard plate and gingiva. The complex type was characterized by the thick ramified neurite, and observed in the vibrissa, hard palate, and molar periodontal ligament. Encapsulated endings were found only in the hard palate. The trigeminal sensory nuclei contained OPN-ir cell bodies and neuropil. The neuropil was devoid of ir in laminae I and II of the medullary dorsal horn (MDH), and had various staining intensities in other regions of the trigeminal sensory nuclei. Transection of the infraorbital and inferior alveolar nerves caused an increase of OPN-ir intensity in ipsilateral TG neurons. The staining intensity of the neuropil also increased in the trigeminal sensory nuclei ipsilateral to the neurotomy excepting laminae I and II of the MDH. The present study indicates that OPN-ir primary sensory neurons in the TG innervate encapsulated and unencapsulated corpuscular endings. Such neurons probably project their central terminals to the trigeminal sensory nuclei except for the superficial laminae of the MDH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 16 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inferior alveolar nerve
  • Infraorbital nerve
  • Osteopontin
  • Sensory nerve endings
  • Trigeminal ganglion
  • Trigeminal sensory nuclei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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