Somatosensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and trigeminal ganglia (TG) are responsible for detecting thermal and tactile stimuli. They are also the primary neurons mediating pain and itch. A large number of cell surface receptors in these neurons couple to phospholipase C (PLC) enzymes leading to the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] and the generation of downstream signaling molecules. These neurons also express many different ion channels, several of which are regulated by phosphoinositides. This review will summarize the knowledge on phosphoinositide signaling in DRG neurons, with special focus on effects on sensory and other ion channels.
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