Molecules that specify modality: mechanisms of nociception

J Pain. 2000 Sep;1(3 Suppl):19-25. doi: 10.1054/jpai.2000.9807a.


Damage-sensing neurons express a unique cohort of genes encoding channels and receptors that play a role in nociception. However, there are redundant pathways involved in, for example, inflammatory pain and many channels and receptors have additional physiologic roles unrelated to nociception. Thus, it is impossible to ascribe a particular sensory modality to the expressions of a single molecular entity. Despite this, the relatively selective expression of a number of channels and receptors in nociceptive neurons provide potentially interesting analgesic drug targets that can be examined through the generation of knockout mice.