Inhibition of temporomandibular joint input to medullary dorsal horn neurons by 5HT3 receptor antagonist in female rats

K. Okamoto, A. Katagiri, Md. M Rahman, R. Thompson, David A Bereiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Repeated forced swim (FS) conditioning enhances nociceptive responses to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) stimulation in female rats. The basis for FS-induced TMJ hyperalgesia remains unclear. To test the hypothesis that serotonin 3 receptor (5HT3R) mechanisms contribute to enhanced TMJ nociception after FS, ovariectomized female rats were treated with estradiol and subjected to FS for three days. On day 4, rats were anesthetized with isoflurane and TMJ-responsive neurons were recorded from superficial and deep laminae at the trigeminal subnucleus caudalis/upper cervical (Vc/C1-2) region and electromyographic (EMG) activity was recorded from the masseter muscle. Only Vc/C1-2 neurons activated by intra-TMJ injections of ATP were included for further analysis. Although neurons in both superficial and deep laminae were activated by ATP, only neurons in deep laminae displayed enhanced responses after FS. Local application of the 5HT3R antagonist, ondansetron (OND), at the Vc/C1-2 region reduced the ATP-evoked responses of neurons in superficial and deep laminae and reduced the EMG response in both sham and FS rats. OND also decreased the spontaneous firing rate of neurons in deep laminae and reduced the high-threshold convergent cutaneous receptive field area of neurons in superficial and deep laminae in both sham and FS rats. These results revealed that central application of a 5HT3R antagonist, had widespread effects on the properties of TMJ-responsive neurons at the Vc/C1-2 region and on jaw muscle reflexes under sham and FS conditions. It is concluded that 5HT3R does not play a unique role in mediating stress-induced hyperalgesia related to TMJ nociception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We have no financial or other relationships to report that might lead to a conflict of interest. This study was supported by a grant from the US National Institutes of Health ( DE12578 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IBRO.


  • 5HT3 receptor
  • Nociception
  • Temporomandibular joint
  • Trigeminal subnucleus caudalis


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