Molecular Mechanisms of Nociception

Nature. 2001 Sep 13;413(6852):203-10. doi: 10.1038/35093019.

Abstract

The sensation of pain alerts us to real or impending injury and triggers appropriate protective responses. Unfortunately, pain often outlives its usefulness as a warning system and instead becomes chronic and debilitating. This transition to a chronic phase involves changes within the spinal cord and brain, but there is also remarkable modulation where pain messages are initiated - at the level of the primary sensory neuron. Efforts to determine how these neurons detect pain-producing stimuli of a thermal, mechanical or chemical nature have revealed new signalling mechanisms and brought us closer to understanding the molecular events that facilitate transitions from acute to persistent pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Pain*
  • Signal Transduction