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J Clin Invest. 2010 Nov;120(11):3760-72. doi: 10.1172/JCI42843. Epub 2010 Nov 1.

Nociceptors: the sensors of the pain pathway.

Author information

1
Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA. adubin@scripps.edu

Abstract

Specialized peripheral sensory neurons known as nociceptors alert us to potentially damaging stimuli at the skin by detecting extremes in temperature and pressure and injury-related chemicals, and transducing these stimuli into long-ranging electrical signals that are relayed to higher brain centers. The activation of functionally distinct cutaneous nociceptor populations and the processing of information they convey provide a rich diversity of pain qualities. Current work in this field is providing researchers with a more thorough understanding of nociceptor cell biology at molecular and systems levels and insight that will allow the targeted design of novel pain therapeutics.

PMID:
21041958
PMCID:
PMC2964977
DOI:
10.1172/JCI42843
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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