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Expert Rev Neurother. 2008 Nov;8(11):1675-81. doi: 10.1586/14737175.8.11.1675.

A new tr(i)p to sense pain: TRPA1 channel as a target for novel analgesics.

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Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Pain sensation occurs at multiple levels of the nervous system, involving a myriad of molecules and signaling pathways that contribute to the detection of noxious stimuli, and the modulation, initiation and propagation of electrical activity in nociceptors, a subset of primary sensory neurons. The fact that several types of ion channels or their splice variants are highly expressed in nociceptors and are critical for pain transduction has prompted scientists to examine their physiological roles in order to better understand the neuromolecular mechanisms of the pain pathway. Recent reports have demonstrated that TRPA1, a member of the mammalian transient receptor potential cation channel family, acts as a key chemical nocisensor in response to diverse chemical stimuli. The TRPA1 channel represents a new target for novel analgesics to specifically eliminate pain sensation of various stimuli.

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