Dr. Chen, Chih-Cheng 's publons link picture

Dr. Chen, Chih-Cheng

Deputy Director
Distinguished Research Fellow
  • 02-2652-3917
  • 02-2782-9224 (Fax)

  • Pain
  • Neurosensory Mechanotransduction

Education and Positions:
  • Ph.D. University College London, UK

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Probing the Effect of Acidosis on Tether-Mode Mechanotransduction of Proprioceptors

Dr. Chen, Chih-Cheng
nternational Journal of Molecular Sciences, Aug 14, 2023




Proprioceptors are low-threshold mechanoreceptors involved in perceiving body position and strain bearing. However, the physiological response of proprioceptors to fatigue- and muscle-acidosis-related disturbances remains unknown. Here, we employed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings to probe the effect of mild acidosis on the mechanosensitivity of the proprioceptive neurons of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in mice. We cultured neurite-bearing parvalbumin-positive (Pv+) DRG neurons on a laminin-coated elastic substrate and examined mechanically activated currents induced through substrate deformation-driven neurite stretch (SDNS). The SDNS-induced inward currents (ISDNS) were indentation depth-dependent and significantly inhibited by mild acidification (pH 7.2~6.8). The acid-inhibiting effect occurred in neurons with an ISDNS sensitive to APETx2 (an ASIC3-selective antagonist) inhibition, but not in those with an ISNDS resistant to APETx2. Detailed subgroup analyses revealed ISDNS was expressed in 59% (25/42) of Parvalbumin-positive (Pv+) DRG neurons, 90% of which were inhibited by APETx2. In contrast, an acid (pH 6.8)-induced current (IAcid) was expressed in 76% (32/42) of Pv+ DRG neurons, 59% (21/32) of which were inhibited by APETx2. Together, ASIC3-containing channels are highly heterogenous and differentially contribute to the ISNDS and IAcid among Pv+ proprioceptors. In conclusion, our findings highlight the importance of ASIC3-containing ion channels in the physiological response of proprioceptors to acidic environments.