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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Mar 2024 - 7 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 04

Int Immunopharmacol



The purinergic receptor P2X3 promotes facial pain by activating neurons and cytokines in the trigeminal ganglion.


Chen Y, Chen L, Ji T, Yu Y, Zhang T, Wang L


The mechanism underlying allodynia/hyperalgesia caused by dental pulpitis has remained enigmatic. This investigation endeavored to characterize the influence of the purinergic receptor P2X3 on pain caused by experimental pulpitis and the mechanism involved. An experimental model of irreversible pulpitis was produced by the drilling and exposure of the dental pulp of the left upper first and second molars in rats, followed by measuring nociceptive responses in the oral and maxillofacial regions. Subsequently, neuronal activity and the expression of P2X3 and pertinent cytokines in the trigeminal ganglion (TG) were meticulously examined and analyzed. Histological evidence corroborated that significant pulpitis was produced in this model, which led to a distinct escalation in nociceptive responses in rats. The activation of neurons, coupled with the upregulated expression of c-fos, P2X3, p-p38, TNF-α and IL-1β, was identified subsequent to the pulpitis surgery within the TG. The selective inhibition of P2X3 with A-317491 effectively restrained the abnormal allodynia/hyperalgesia following the pulpitis surgery and concurrently inhibited the upregulation of p-p38, TNF-α and IL-1β within the TG. These findings suggest that the P2X3 signaling pathway plays a pivotal role in instigating and perpetuating pain subsequent to the induction of pulpitis in rats, implicating its association with the p38 MAPK signaling pathway and inflammatory factors.