Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Med. 2010 Nov;16(11):1248-57. doi: 10.1038/nm.2235. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Nociceptor sensitization in pain pathogenesis.

Author information

  • 1Center for Pain Research, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


The incidence of chronic pain is estimated to be 20-25% worldwide. Few patients with chronic pain obtain complete relief from the drugs that are currently available, and more than half report inadequate relief. Underlying the challenge of developing better drugs to manage chronic pain is incomplete understanding of the heterogeneity of mechanisms that contribute to the transition from acute tissue insult to chronic pain and to pain conditions for which the underlying pathology is not apparent. An intact central nervous system (CNS) is required for the conscious perception of pain, and changes in the CNS are clearly evident in chronic pain states. However, the blockage of nociceptive input into the CNS can effectively relieve or markedly attenuate discomfort and pain, revealing the importance of ongoing peripheral input to the maintenance of chronic pain. Accordingly, we focus here on nociceptors: their excitability, their heterogeneity and their role in initiating and maintaining pain.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk