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Papers of the Week

Papers: 30 Mar 2019 - 5 Apr 2019

Animal Studies

2019 May 22




Editor's Pick

Location and Plasticity of the Sodium Spike Initiation Zone in Nociceptive Terminals In Vivo.


Goldstein RH, Barkai O, Íñigo-Portugués A, Katz B, Lev S, Binshtok AM
Neuron. 2019 May 22; 102(4):801-812.e5.
PMID: 30926280.


Nociceptive terminals possess the elements for detecting, transmitting, and modulating noxious signals, thus being pivotal for pain sensation. Despite this, a functional description of the transduction process by the terminals, in physiological conditions, has not been fully achieved. Here, we studied how nociceptive terminals in vivo convert noxious stimuli into propagating signals. By monitoring noxious-stimulus-induced Ca dynamics from mouse corneal terminals, we found that initiation of Na channel (Nav)-dependent propagating signals takes place away from the terminal and that the starting point for Nav-mediated propagation depends on Nav functional availability. Acute treatment with the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and interleukin 1β (IL-1β) resulted in a shift of the location of Nav involvement toward the terminal, thus increasing nociceptive excitability. Moreover, a shift of Nav involvement toward the terminal occurs in corneal hyperalgesia resulting from acute photokeratitis. This dynamic change in the location of Nav-mediated propagation initiation could underlie pathological pain hypersensitivity.