Development of functional units within trigeminal ganglia correlates with increased expression of proteins involved in neuron-glia interactions


Cell bodies of trigeminal nerves, which are located in the trigeminal ganglion, are completely surrounded by satellite glial cells and together form a functional unit that regulates neuronal excitability. The goals of this study were to investigate the cellular organization of the rat trigeminal ganglia during postnatal development and correlate those findings with expression of proteins implicated in neuron-glia interactions. During postnatal development there was an increase in the volume of the neuronal cell body, which correlated with a steady increase in the number of glial cells associated with an individual neuron from an average of 2.16 at birth to 7.35 on day 56 in young adults. Interestingly, while the levels of the inwardly rectifying K+ channel Kir4.1 were barely detectable during the first week, its expression in satellite glial cells increased by day 9 and correlated with initial formation of functional units. Similarly, expression of the vesicle docking protein SNAP-25 and neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide was readily detected beginning on day 9 and remained elevated throughout postnatal development. Based on our findings, we propose that the expression of proteins involved in facilitating neuron-glia interactions temporally correlates with the formation of mature functional units during postnatal development of trigeminal ganglion.



Document Type





CGRP, Kir4.1, SNAP-25

Publication Date


Journal Title

Neuron Glia Biology