Expression of P2X3 and P2X5 Myenteric Receptors Varies During the Intestinal Postnatal Development in the Guinea Pig
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P2X3 receptor expression in various tissues appears to be modulated by age. In the present study, we used single cell RT-PCR to determine the number of P2X3 positive myenteric neurons at different stages of guinea pig postnatal development, and we tested if similar changes also occur to other myenteric P2X receptors. Moreover, we carried out whole-cell recordings using Patch Clamp techniques to determine possible changes in P2X receptors sensitivity to ATP and α,β-methylene ATP (α,β-meATP) between newborn and adult animals. Our data indicate that P2X3 subunit transcripts are present in a larger number of myenteric neurons from newborn guinea pigs whereas P2X5 mRNA is found more frequently in adults. Expression of P2X2 and P2X4 transcripts does not change during postnatal development. In newborn animals, virtually all neurons expressing P2X3 also expressed P2X2 transcripts. This is important because these two subunits are known to form heteromeric channels. ATP potency to activate P2X receptors in neurons of both newborn and adult animals was the same. α,β-meATP, a known P2X3 receptor agonist, induces only a marginal current despite the fact of the higher presence of P2X3 subunits in newborns. These findings imply that P2X3 subunits are mainly forming heteromeric, α,β-meATP insensitive channels perhaps because P2X3 contributes with only one subunit to the heterotrimers while the other subunits could be P2X2, P2X4, or P2X5.
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