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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Dec 2023 - 15 Dec 2023

2023 Nov 23

Int J Mol Sci




Distribution and Chemistry of Phoenixin-14, a Newly Discovered Sensory Transmission Molecule in Porcine Afferent Neurons.


Mazur U, Lepiarczyk E, Janikiewicz P, Łopieńska-Biernat E, Majewski MK, Bossowska A


Phoenixin-14 (PNX), initially discovered in the rat hypothalamus, was also detected in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells, where its involvement in the regulation of pain and/or itch sensation was suggested. However, there is a lack of data not only on its distribution in DRGs along individual segments of the spinal cord, but also on the pattern(s) of its co-occurrence with other sensory neurotransmitters. To fill the above-mentioned gap and expand our knowledge about the occurrence of PNX in mammalian species other than rodents, this study examined (i) the pattern(s) of PNX occurrence in DRG neurons of subsequent neuromeres along the porcine spinal cord, (ii) their intraganglionic distribution and (iii) the pattern(s) of PNX co-occurrence with other biologically active agents. PNX was found in approximately 20% of all nerve cells of each DRG examined; the largest subpopulation of PNX-positive (PNX) cells were small-diameter neurons, accounting for 74% of all PNX-positive neurons found. PNX neurons also co-contained calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP; 96.1%), substance P (SP; 88.5%), nitric oxide synthase (nNOS; 52.1%), galanin (GAL; 20.7%), calretinin (CRT; 10%), pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP; 7.4%), cocaine and amphetamine related transcript (CART; 5.1%) or somatostatin (SOM; 4.7%). Although the exact function of PNX in DRGs is not yet known, the high degree of co-localization of this peptide with the main nociceptive transmitters SP and CGRP may suggests its function in modulation of pain transmission.