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Touch receptor-derived sensory information alleviates acute pain signaling and fine-tunes nociceptive reflex coordination

Official URL:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2016.11.027
PubMed:View item in PubMed
Creators Name:Arcourt, A. and Gorham, L. and Dhandapani, R. and Prato, V. and Taberner, F.J. and Wende, H. and Gangadharan, V. and Birchmeier, C. and Heppenstall, P.A. and Lechner, S.G.
Journal Title:Neuron
Journal Abbreviation:Neuron
Volume:93
Number:1
Page Range:179-193
Date:4 January 2017
Keywords:Pinprick Pain, Acute Pain, Nociceptor, Gate Control Theory, Npy2r, MafA, A-Fiber Mechanonociceptors, Optogenetics, Primary Afferent, Dorsal Root Ganglion
Abstract:Painful mechanical stimuli activate multiple peripheral sensory afferent subtypes simultaneously, including nociceptors and low-threshold mechanoreceptors (LTMRs). Using an optogenetic approach, we demonstrate that LTMRs do not solely serve as touch receptors but also play an important role in acute pain signaling. We show that selective activation of neuropeptide Y receptor-2-expressing (Npy2r) myelinated A-fiber nociceptors evokes abnormally exacerbated pain, which is alleviated by concurrent activation of LTMRs in a frequency-dependent manner. We further show that spatial summation of single action potentials from multiple NPY2R-positive afferents is sufficient to trigger nocifensive paw withdrawal, but additional simultaneous sensory input from LTMRs is required for normal well-coordinated execution of this reflex. Thus, our results show that combinatorial coding of noxious and tactile sensory input is required for normal acute mechanical pain signaling. Additionally, we established a causal link between precisely defined neural activity in functionally identified sensory neuron subpopulations and nocifensive behavior and pain.
ISSN:0896-6273
Publisher:Cell Press / Elsevier (U.S.A.)
Item Type:Article

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