Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New animal model developed to study craniofacial pain by manipulating genes

Date:
March 28, 2010
Source:
Oregon Health & Science University
Summary:
Using a novel animal model to study craniofacial pain, researchers have discovered that when tissues are inflamed, the nerve cells carrying pain information from the head to the brain produce in large quantities a protein involved in pain signaling.

Using a novel animal model to study craniofacial pain, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University's School of Dentistry have discovered that when tissues are inflamed, the nerve cells carrying pain information from the head to the brain produce in large quantities a protein involved in pain signaling. The finding could play a significant role in the development of new treatments for craniofacial pain conditions, such as migraines, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, trigeminal neuralgia, and toothache.

The findings were published online on March 9, and will appear in one of the upcoming issues of the journal Neuroscience.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 10 percent of Americans suffer from chronic pain conditions, and inflammatory craniofacial pain is one of the most frequent.

Head pain is signaled to the brain by the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve sends information about pain associated with migraines, TMJ disorder, trigeminal neuralgia, head and neck cancer, periodontal disease, dental procedures, and other conditions. Yet, the molecular mechanisms of trigeminal pain are not well understood. Studies suggest most craniofacial pain disorders are caused by inflammation.

The OHSU dental school research team previously found that trigeminal nerve cells make a molecule called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which plays a critical role in the development and normal functioning of the nervous system. They also showed that stimulation of trigeminal nerve cells, as experienced during craniofacial pain, leads to the release of BDNF and, in a separate study, noted that BDNF is involved in the mechanisms of migraines. Now, the team has found that tooth pulp inflammation of as few as two molar teeth leads to a dramatic and widespread increase in BDNF production by trigeminal nerve cells, even those not connected to the teeth.

"Thanks to a tremendous collaborative effort of experts in several different disciplines of dentistry and neuroscience, we were able to develop an amazing model to study molecular mechanisms of craniofacial pain using genetic manipulations," said Agnieszka Balkowiec, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator, associate professor of integrative biosciences in the OHSU School of Dentistry, and adjunct assistant professor of physiology and pharmacology in the OHSU School of Medicine. "With this model, we will finally be able to dissect specific mechanisms of BDNF action and its role in inflammatory pain conditions."

The research team included Leila Tarsa, D.D.S., M.S., an endodontology resident who graduated from OHSU in 2009; Ewa Balkowiec-Iskra, M.D., Ph.D., visiting scientist from the Medical University of Warsaw; F. James Kratochvil III, D.D.S., professor and chair of the department of pathology and radiology; Victoria K. Jenkins, B.A., a research assistant who is currently a doctoral student at Boston University; Anne McLean, B.A., third-year dental student; Alexandra Brown, a Lakeridge High School senior who is currently a freshman at Brown University; Julie Ann Smith, D.D.S., M.D., assistant professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery; and J. Craig Baumgartner, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor and chairman emeritus of the department of endodontology.

The research was made possible with support from the American Association of Endodontists, National Institutes of Health, and the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, which is funded by a grant from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health & Science University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. Tarsa, E. Bałkowiec-Iskra, F.J. Kratochvil III, V.K. Jenkins, A. McLean, A. Brown, J.A. Smith, J.C. Baumgartner, A. Balkowiec. Tooth pulp inflammation increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in rodent trigeminal ganglion neurons. Neuroscience, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.03.002

Cite This Page:

Oregon Health & Science University. "New animal model developed to study craniofacial pain by manipulating genes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325092254.htm>.
Oregon Health & Science University. (2010, March 28). New animal model developed to study craniofacial pain by manipulating genes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325092254.htm
Oregon Health & Science University. "New animal model developed to study craniofacial pain by manipulating genes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325092254.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins