The expression of interleukin-1beta was examined in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons from adult rats using non-radioactive in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry. At all spinal levels, approximately 70% of the DRG neurons appeared to express IL-1beta mRNA; about 80% of these DRG neurons actually appeared to produce the IL-1beta protein at markedly varying levels. The expression of IL-1beta was found in large as well as in intermediate diameter sensory neurons but only sporadically in the population of small sensory neurons. The population of IL-1beta immunopositive sensory neurons included most of the large calretinin-positive Ia afferents, but only a few of the small substance P/CGRP positive sensory neurons. In situ hybridization staining for the detection of type 1 IL-1 receptor showed expression of this receptor by most of the sensory neurons as well as by supportive glial-like cells, presumably satellite cells. The functional significance of IL-1beta in the DRG neurons needs to be elucidated, but we speculate that IL-1beta produced by DRG neurons may be an auto/paracrine signalling molecule in sensory transmission.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroimmunology|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Aug 2001|