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.

Related Articles


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 April 25, 2015 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 April 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

85 Killed in Niger by Meningitis Since Start of Year

85 Killed in Niger by Meningitis Since Start of Year

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) A meningitis outbreak in Niger has killed 85 people since the start of the year prompting authorities to close schools in the capital Niamey until Monday. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
C-Section Births a Trend in Brazil

C-Section Births a Trend in Brazil

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) More than half of Brazil&apos;s babies are born via cesarean section, as mothers and doctors opt for a faster and less painful experience despite the health risks. Duration: 02:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anti-Malaria Jab Hope

Anti-Malaria Jab Hope

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 24, 2015) The world&apos;s first anti-malaria vaccine could get the go-ahead for use in Africa from October if approved by international regulators. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) Developers of 3D food printing hope the culinary technology will revolutionize the way we cook and eat. (April 23) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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