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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015 Oct;34:67-73. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2015.01.021. Epub 2015 Feb 17.

Evolutionary adaptation to thermosensation.

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  • 1Department of Cellular & Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA; Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Electronic address: elena.gracheva@yale.edu.
  • 2Department of Cellular & Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Electronic address: sviatoslav.bagriantsev@yale.edu.

Abstract

Organisms continuously evolve to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Chief among these are daily and seasonal temperature fluctuations. Relatively small in terms of real physical values, temperature fluctuations of just a few degrees can profoundly affect organismal functions. In vertebrates, temperature is detected by primary afferents of somatosensory neurons, which express thermo-gated ion channels. Most of our knowledge about temperature receptors comes from seminal studies in mice and rats. Recent work uncovered thermosensory mechanisms in other vertebrates, shedding light onto the diversity of thermosensory adaptations. Here, we summarize molecular mechanisms of thermosensation in different species and discuss the need to use the standard laboratory rodents and non-standard species side-by-side in order to understand fundamental principles of somatosensation.

PMID:
25698346
DOI:
10.1016/j.conb.2015.01.021
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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