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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Jan 2021 - 8 Jan 2021

2021 Jan 02

Int J Mol Sci



Presynaptic Inhibition of Pain and Touch in the Spinal Cord: From Receptors to Circuits.


Comitato A, Bardoni R
Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 02; 22(1).
PMID: 33401784.


Sensory primary afferent fibers, conveying touch, pain, itch, and proprioception, synapse onto spinal cord dorsal horn neurons. Primary afferent central terminals express a wide variety of receptors that modulate glutamate and peptide release. Regulation of the amount and timing of neurotransmitter release critically affects the integration of postsynaptic responses and the coding of sensory information. The role of GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) receptors expressed on afferent central terminals is particularly important in sensory processing, both in physiological conditions and in sensitized states induced by chronic pain. During the last decade, techniques of opto- and chemogenetic stimulation and neuronal selective labeling have provided interesting insights on this topic. This review focused on the recent advances about the modulatory effects of presynaptic GABAergic receptors in spinal cord dorsal horn and the neural circuits involved in these mechanisms.