Acetazolamide specifically inhibits lingual trigeminal nerve responses to carbon dioxide

Michio Komai, Bruce P. Bryant

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    The goal of this study was to examine the role of the enzyme, carbonic anhydrase, in oral trigeminal chemoreception with particular regard to the reception of CO2. Using both single and multiunit recordings of trigeminal neurons in the lingual nerve of rat, we measured responses to cool (24°C), noxiously hot (55°C) and cold (8°C) H2O, NH4Cl and supersaturated solutions of CO2 (24°C and 33°C). The importance of peripheral carbonic anhydrase was tested by inhibiting enzyme activity with acetazolamide (15 mg/kg b.w.). Single unit responses to CO2 and HCl suggest that neural sensitivity to CO2 is not simply a function of extraepithelial pH. Responses to CO2 were significantly inhibited by acetazolamide while the responses to thermal stimuli and NH4Cl were not. The results support a role for carbonic anhydrase in trigeminal responses to CO2. Furthermore, the results suggest that intraepithelial acidification mediated by carbonic anhydrase may be the basis for sensitivity to CO2.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)122-129
    Number of pages8
    JournalBrain research
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 1993 May 28


    • Carbonic anhydrase
    • Chemonociception
    • Chemoreceptor
    • Irritation
    • Nociception
    • Paresthesia

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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