Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research


Cold sensing by NaV1.8-positive and NaV1.8-negative sensory neurons

13 February 2019

Luiz, AP; Macdonald, DI; Santana-Varela, S; Millet, Q; Sikandar, S; Wood, JN; Emery, EC; (2019) Cold sensing by NaV1.8-positive and NaV1.8-negative sensory neurons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America (In press).

Figure 1

The Wood lab at WIBR have discovered that....

The cellular correlate for cold sensing has been ascribed to either Trpm8-expressing or NaV1.8-expressing neurons. Importantly, transcriptomic analysis shows that these neuronal populations are nonoverlapping. Using in vivo GCaMP imaging in live mice we show that the vast majority of acute cold-sensing neurons activated at ≥1 °C do not express NaV1.8, and that the loss of NaV1.8 does not affect acute cold-sensing behavior in mice. Instead, we show that cold-responding neurons are enriched with Trpm8 as well as numerous potassium channels, including Kcnk9. By contrast, NaV1.8-positive neurons signal prolonged extreme cold. These observations highlight the complexity of cold sensing in DRG neurons, and the role of NaV1.8-negative neurons in cold sensing down to 1 °C.