Triple fluorescent staining for P2X1 and P2X3 subunits and isolectin I-B4 (IB4) were performed on acutely dissociated rat DRG neurons. Immunoreacdvity for P2X1 and P2X3 subunits was present separately or together in DRG neurons. P2X1 immunoreactivity was present in both IB4-posidve and IB4-negative cells. When combining patch-clamp recordings with immunostaining for the P2X1 and P2X3 subunits on single recorded cells, ATP-evoked fast currents were shown to be present on DRG neurons that have immunoreactivity for the P2X3 subunit only, the P2X1 subunit only, or both P2X1 and P2X3 subunits. These results raised a possibility that, in addition to the P2X3 receptor subunit, the P2X1 subunit may also contribute to functional P2X receptors with fast kinetics in DRG neurons. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.