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Detecting cold, feeling pain: Study reveals why menthol feels fresh

als are transmitted from the peripheral nervous system into the body's central nervous system – moving through nerves in the spinal cord and brain stem up to the brain, which prompts a response, or "feeling." Co-author of the current study Allan Basbaum, PhD, also of UCSF, is a pioneer of research into the mechanism of chronic pain within the central nervous system.

The Julius team's complementary work is focused at the level of the sensory nerve fiber, where the signals are first initiated. "We want to know," Julius says, "how do you detect these stimuli to begin with" How do your sensory nerve endings do this to begin with" And what are the biochemical and biophysical mechanisms that account for this""

All three receptors the Julius lab has discovered are members of the TRP family of ion channels expressed on sensory neurons. The latest finding adds to the evidence, says Julius, that TRP channels are the principal transducers of thermal stimuli in the mammalian periphery nervous system.


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Source:University of California - San Francisco


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