Participation of NMDA and non-NMDA glutamate receptors in the formalin-induced inflammatory temporomandibular joint nociception

  • Yang, Gwi-Y. (Department of Oral Physiology, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Lee, Ju-H. (Department of Oral Physiology, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Ahn, Dong-K. (Department of Oral Physiology, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University)
  • Published : 2007.06.30


It has been well known that excitatory amino acids, primarily glutamate, are involved in the transmission of nociception in pathological and physiological conditions in the spinal and brainstem level. Recently, peripheral glutamate also play a critical role in the peripheral nociceptive transmissions. The present study investigated the role of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) or non-NMDA ionotropic glutamate receptors in formalin-induced TMJ pain. Experiments were carried out on male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 220-280 g. Intra-articular injection was performed under halothane anesthesia. Under anesthesia, AP-7 (10, $100\;{\mu}M$, $1\;mM/20\;{\mu}L$), a NMDA receptor antagonist, or CNQX disodium salt (0.5, 5, 50, $500\;{\mu}M/20\;{\mu}L$), a non-NMDA receptor antagonist, were administered intra-articularly 10 min prior to the application of 5% formalin. For each animal, the number of behavioral responses, such as rubbing and/or scratching the TMJ region, was recorded for nine successive 5-min intervals. Intra-articular pretreatment with 1 mM of AP-7 or $50\;{\mu}M$ CNQX significantly decreased the formalin-induced scratching behavioral responses during the second phase. Intra-articular pretreatment with $500\;{\mu}M$ of CNQX significantly decreased the formalin-induced scratching behavior during both the first and the second phase. These results indicate that the intra-articular administration of NMDA or non-NMDA receptor antagonists inhibit formalin-induced TMJ nociception, and peripheral ionotropic glutamate receptors may play an important role in the TMJ nociception.



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