Tue 25th February 2014

The Dong Lab reports in the current issue of Neuron

New research by Xinzhong Dong's lab published in the current issue of Neuron demonstrates that sensitized TRPV1 activity at the central projections of primary spinal cord sensory neurons, spurred by serotonergic inputs from brainstem descending fibers, contributes to nerve injured induced pain. Kim et al. developed a novel imaging technique which allowed them to specifically monitor neuronal activities of sensory nerve fibers in the skin and spinal cord. In collaboration with Dr. Feng Wei’s group at University of Maryland using this technique, they discovered the functional interaction in the spinal cord between the central terminals of primary sensory neurons and nerve fibers descending from the brainstem through a signaling pathway from serotonin (5-HT) to TRPV1. This study also raises the prospect that either a TRPV1 or 5-HT receptor antagonist delivered to the spinal cord might stop pain signals that result in chronic pain.

Kim Y, Chu Y, Han L, Li M, Li Z, LaVinka PC, Sun S, Tang Z, Park K, Caterina M, Dubner R, Wei F, and Dong X. (2014) Central terminal sensitization of TRPV1 by descending 5-HT facilitation modulates chronic pain. Neuron 81: 873-887.

In the news:
Brain uses serotonin to maintain chronic pain signals

Brain uses serotonin to perpetuate chronic pain signals in local nerves 

Medical Daily: 
Chronic Pain Management: Blocking Serotonin May Help To End Persistent Aches

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