Potentiation of rabbit trigeminal responses to capsaicin in a low pH environment

Melissa E. Martenson, Susan L. Ingram, Thomas K. Baumann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The sensitivity of 35 adult rabbit trigeminal ganglion neurons to low pH (pH 6.0), 10 μM capsaicin (CAP) and 10 μM capsaicin at low pH (CAP@pH6.0) was studied using voltage-clamp whole-cell recording techniques. Neurons responded to pH 6.0 with a transient inward current, followed by a more slowlt activating (sustained) net inward current. Responses to capsaicin showed only a sustained current. Capsaicin caused an increase in membrane conductance, whereas responses to low pH were associated with either a net increase or decrease in conductance. A subset of neurons (n = 14) responded to CAP@pH6.0 with a sustained current which exceeded the sum of the peak sustained currents evoked by CAP and pH 6.0 applied singularly by approximately a factor of 4. The current was associated with a substantial increase in membrane conductance. The present results indicate that, in addition to a direct conductance activating effect, protons have the ability to enhance the current evoked by capsaicin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-147
Number of pages5
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 18 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Capsaicin
  • Chemosensitivity
  • Irritant
  • Neuron
  • Patch clamp
  • Proton
  • Sensitization
  • Somatosensory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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