Finding sensory neuron mechanotransduction components


  • R. Boensch
  • G.R. Lewin


  • Curr Top Membr 379-414


  • OVERVIEW: Almost all primary afferent sensory neurons including nociceptors are mechanosensitive, it is surprising that we still do not understand the molecular basis of the process whereby nociceptive and nonnociceptive sensory neurons transduce mechanical signals. This process termed sensory neuron mechanotransduction is the subject of this chapter. In particular, we will review what is known about this process in primary afferent nociceptors and examine the experimental approaches that scientists have used and are using to identify potential molecules involved in sensory neuron mechanotransduction. The applicability of knowledge gained about molecules involved in mechanotrasnduction in lower organisms will be discussed. It is clear that identification of tractable molecular targets that are required for transduction of mechanical stimuli in nociceptors would represent a significant step in the development of new analgesic drugs.