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Papers: 7 Nov 2020 - 13 Nov 2020

2020 Nov 10

Purinergic Signal

Purinergic signalling in spinal pain processing.


Tam TH, Salter MW
Purinergic Signal. 2020 Nov 10.
PMID: 33169292.


Purinergic signalling plays important roles in somatosensory and nociceptive transmission in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Physiologically, ATP mediates excitatory postsynaptic responses in nociceptive transmission in the superficial dorsal horn, and in transmission of innocuous primary afferent inputs in the deep dorsal horn. Additionally, extracellular conversion of ATP to adenosine mediates inhibitory postsynaptic responses from Pacinian corpuscle afferents, and is implicated in analgesia caused by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in humans. In terms of pathological pain, P2X4 receptors de novo expressed on dorsal horn microglia are implicated in pain hypersensitivity following peripheral nerve injury. There is evidence that involvement of such P2X4 receptors is sexually dimorphic, occurring in males but not in females. Thus, the roles of purinergic signalling in physiological and pathological pain processing are complex and remain an ever-expanding field of research.