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Thread: Mechanism For Dental Pain Uncovered By OHSU School Of Dentistry

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    Arrow Mechanism For Dental Pain Uncovered By OHSU School Of Dentistry

    Mechanism For Dental Pain Uncovered By OHSU School Of Dentistry

    09 Jan 2009

    Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University's School of Dentistry (OHSU School of Dentistry) have discovered a novel function of the peptide known as Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the development of the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve provides the signaling pathway for periodontal pain, dental surgical pain, and pain associated with temporomandibular disorder, trigeminal neuralgia, migraine, and other neuropathic and inflammatory conditions.

    The study is posted online in the journal Neuropeptides and will appear in print issues of that journal in early 2009.

    Working with researchers in the dental school departments of Endodontology and Integrative Biosciences, second-year endodontology resident and lead author of the study, Leila Tarsa, D.D.S., M.S., found a new mechanism involved in establishing junctions - known as synapses - between trigeminal nerve cells. Nerve cells communicate with one another through chemicals called transmitters that are released at synapses. The transmitter release from nerve cells endings is possible only if aided by several molecules that are critical for proper function of the synapse. Tarsa's research shows that NGF promotes transport of one of the molecules (called synaptophysin) from the nerve cell body to its ending.

    "The data indicate that NGF participates in formation of neuronal connections in the trigeminal system," said Agnieszka Balkowiec, M.D., Ph.D., OHSU School of Dentistry assistant professor of integrative biosciences and OHSU School of Medicine adjunct assistant professor of physiology and pharmacology, who is the senior author of the study and whose lab hosted the research. "This study has broad implications for trigeminal nerve regeneration."
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    Reference:

    Nerve growth factor (NGF), is a small secreted protein which induces the differentiation and survival of particular target neurons (nerve cells). It is perhaps the prototypical growth factor, in that it is one of the first to be described - that work by Rita Levi-Montalcini and Stanley Cohen was rewarded with a Nobel Prize.

    While "nerve growth factor" refers to a single factor, "nerve growth factors" refers to a family of factors also known as neurotrophins.


    Function
    NGF is critical for the survival and maintenance of sympathetic and sensory neurons.

    NGF is released from the target cells, binds to and activates its high affinity receptor (TrkA), and is internalized into the responsive neuron. There are some data that show that NGF can be transported from the axon tip to soma, but it is unclear if this is necessary for effective cell signalling; in fact there are data showing that it is not[citation needed]. What is clear is that NGF binding and activation of TrkA is required for NGF-mediated neuronal survival and differentiation.

    Receptor binding mechanism
    NGF binds at least two receptors on the surface of cells which are capable of responding to this growth factor, TrkA (pronounced "Track A") and the LNGFR (for "low affinity nerve growth factor receptor").
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    Last edited by trimurtulu; 01-09-2009 at 11:17 PM.

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    Thankx about this one,

    the cause of severe dental pain is not obvious.
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