Navigation Links
Naked mole-rats may hold clues to pain relief
Date:9/21/2012

Naked mole-rats evolved to thrive in an acidic environment that other mammals, including humans, would find intolerable. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago report new findings as to how these rodents have adapted to this environment.

The study was published online this week on PLOS ONE.

In the tightly crowded burrows of the African naked mole-rats' world, carbon dioxide builds up to levels that would be toxic for other mammals, and the air becomes highly acidic. These animals freely tolerate these unpleasant conditions, says Thomas Park, professor of biological sciences at UIC and principal investigator of the study -- which may offer clues to relieving pain in other animals and humans.

Much of the lingering pain of an injury, for example, is caused by acidification of the injured tissue, Park said.

"Acidification is an unavoidable side-effect of injury," he said. "Studying an animal that feels no pain from an acidified environment should lead to new ways of alleviating pain in humans."

In the nose of a mammal, specialized nerve fibers are activated by acidic fumes, stimulating the trigeminal nucleus, a collection of nerves in the brainstem, which in turn elicits physiological and behavioral responses that protect the animal -- it will secrete mucus and rub its nose, for example, and withdraw or avoid the acidic fumes.

The researchers placed naked mole-rats in a system of cages in which some areas contained air with acidic fumes. The animals were allowed to roam freely, and the time they spent in each area was tracked. Their behavior was compared to laboratory rats, mice, and a closely related mole-rat species that likes to live in comfy conditions, as experimental controls.

The naked mole-rats spent as much time exposing themselves to acidic fumes as they spent in fume-free areas, Park said. Each control species avoided the fumes.

The researchers were able to quantify the physiologic response to exposure to acidic fumes by measuring a protein, c-Fos, an indirect marker of nerve activity that is often expressed when nerve cells fire. In naked mole-rats, no such activity was found in the trigeminal nucleus when stimulated. In rats and mice, however, the trigeminal nucleus was highly activated.

The naked mole-rats' tolerance of acidic fumes is consistent with their adaptation to living underground in chronically acidic conditions, Park said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeanne Galatzer-Levy
jgala@uic.edu
312-996-1583
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Could the Naked Mole Rat Hold Secrets to Longevity?
2. Genes of Africas Khoe-San Peoples Give Clues to Human Evolution
3. Clues to Ancient Dentistry Found in Human Tooth
4. HIF gene mutation found in tumor cells offers new clues about cancer metabolism
5. New genetic clues to why most bone marrow transplant patients develop graft-versus-host disease
6. Human Airways Brush Mechanism Gives Clues to Lung Diseases
7. More clues about why chimps and humans are genetically different
8. New Clues to How Alcohol May Boost Cancer Risk
9. Genetic Studies Give Clues to Tourette Syndrome, OCD
10. Why Women Outlive Men: Fruit Flies Give Clues
11. New Clues to How HIV Infects Bodys Cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Focused ... innovation in the industry, according to the recent NEJM Catalyst Insights Report on ... of the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council, a qualified group of U.S. executives, clinical ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A new directory from the Senior Veterans ... connect elderly veterans of America's armed forces to a range of senior care ... on this year's increase in the Veterans Pension with Aid & Attendance for ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... 2017 , ... For the first time, International Scholarship and ... floor for the 2017 HIMSS Conference & Exhibition at the Orange ... than 40,000 healthcare industry professionals are expected at the conference, where they will ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Access today ... Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., February 19-23. Visitors to the company’s booth (#1778) will ... used electronic patient signatures solution in healthcare . , Since it first ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Cancer diagnostics workflow solution provider ... 20 – 22 in San Francisco. As part of the Tri-Conference expo, which ... workflow solution, as well as its new precision medicine platform, “Crosswalk Insight: Oncology™.” ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/17/2017)... 17, 2017   Risperdal lawsuits involving gynecomastia (male ... with use of the atypical antipsychotic medication continue to ... Court of Common Pleas, where the state,s Risperdal docket ... to a notice posted on the Court,s website ... on March 9, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. (In Re: ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... Feb. 17, 2017  Featuring new ... at the  2017 HIMSS Conference & Exhibition (HIMSS17 ),  ... a global leader in health ... of population health management, acute healthcare ... integrated in a highly secure, cloud-based ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... 17, 2017  Noble Capital Markets announced today that ... (Nasdaq: EPIX ). The report was issued ... , PhD. ESSA Pharmaceuticals is a clinical ... cancer (CRPC). Its lead compound EPI-506, is a small ... of the androgen receptor, thereby has potential to overcome ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: