Calcified and Connective Oral Tissue Focus Group -
Research Highlight 1

Hyperalgesia of the orofacial region -
project by Assoc Professor Yeo Jin Fei

Electron micrographs showing mGluR1x- and mGluR2/3-immunopositive elements in the cSTN.

This research on Orofacial Pain has added significant new knowledge in furthering the understanding of synaptology, neuro-connectivity and neuro-transmission of the cranial nerve involved in pain in the oral and facial region i.e. the Trigeminal nerve. These findings were presented at the 1998 Colloquium in Neuroscience, Singapore Neuroscience Association; the Nitric Oxide Symposium in 1999 and the 4th NUH-NUS Annual Scientific Meeting 2000. The research in the area of Orofacial pain was also singled out for mention in the inaugural issue of "INNOVATION"- the magazine of research & technology of NUS in year 2000. In year 2001 in June and August, two papers arising from this research were published in the Journal of Dental Research (USA) which is the top ranked international dental journal: (Yeo, J.F., H.P. Liu and S.K. Leong, Sustained microglial immunoreactivity in the Caudal Spinal Trigeminal Nucleus after formalin injection) and (Tang FR, Yeo JF and
SK Leong, Qualitative light and electron microscope study of glutamate receptors in the Caudal Spinal Trigeminal Nucleus of the rat). The first project demonstrated the presence of a sustained and prolonged microglial reaction in the caudal spinal trigeminal nucleus after formalin injection into the rat lateral face. The latter project provided baseline information for the development of agonists and antagonists of ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors in the clinical treatment of orofacial pain.

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