Glutaminase immunoreactivity and enzyme activity is increased in the rat dorsal root ganglion following peripheral inflammation

Kenneth E. Miller, John C. Balbás, Richard L. Benton, Travis S. Lam, Kristin M. Edwards, Richard M. Kriebel, Ruben Schechter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Following inflammation, primary sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) alter the production of several proteins.Most DRG neurons are glutamatergic, using glutaminase as the enzyme for glutamate production, but little is known about glutaminase following inflammation. In the present study, adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) was produced in rats with complete Freund's adjuvant into the hindpaw. At 7 days of AIA, DRG were examined with glutaminase immunohistochemistry,Western blot immunoreactivity, and enzyme activity. Image analysis revealed that glutaminase was elevated most in small-sized neurons (21%) (P < 0.05). Western blot analysis revealed a 19% increase (P < 0.05) in total glutaminase and 21% in mitochondrial glutaminase (P < 0.05). Glutaminase enzyme activity was elevated 29% (P < 0.001) from 2.20 to 2.83 moles/kg/hr. Elevated glutaminase in primary sensory neurons could lead to increased glutamate production in spinal primary afferent terminals contributing to centra sensitization or in the peripheral process contributing to peripheral sensitization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number414697
JournalPain Research and Treatment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


Cite this