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Nature. 2001 Sep 13;413(6852):203-10.

Molecular mechanisms of nociception.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA. julius@socrates.ucsf.edu

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.

PMID:
11557989
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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