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Papers of the Week

Papers: 28 Mar 2020 - 3 Apr 2020

2020 Apr 02

J Neural Transm (Vienna)

Recent advances in our understanding of the organization of dorsal horn neuron populations and their contribution to cutaneous mechanical allodynia.


The dorsal horns of the spinal cord and the trigeminal nuclei in the brainstem contain neuron populations that are critical to process sensory information. Neurons in these areas are highly heterogeneous in their morphology, molecular phenotype and intrinsic properties, making it difficult to identify functionally distinct cell populations, and to determine how these are engaged in pathophysiological conditions. There is a growing consensus concerning the classification of neuron populations, based on transcriptomic and transductomic analyses of the dorsal horn. These approaches have led to the discovery of several molecularly defined cell types that have been implicated in cutaneous mechanical allodynia, a highly prevalent and difficult-to-treat symptom of chronic pain, in which touch becomes painful. The main objective of this review is to provide a contemporary view of dorsal horn neuronal populations, and describe recent advances in our understanding of on how they participate in cutaneous mechanical allodynia.