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Nerve Cells In The Brain And Spinal Cord Sense Pain Caused By Physical Insult

Date:
January 9, 2009
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Researchers have shown that the protein COX2 in mouse nerve cells in the central nervous system (CNS) is crucial for hypersensitivity to pain caused by the physical insult associated with inflammation, but not pain caused by the heat associated with inflammation. As pain caused by physical insult is a major symptom of postoperative and arthritic inflammation, it seems that COX2 in nerve cells in the CNS is central to the pain that accompanies these conditions.

Researchers have shown that the protein COX2 in mouse nerve cells in the central nervous system (CNS) is crucial for hypersensitivity to pain caused by the physical insult associated with inflammation, but not pain caused by the heat associated with inflammation. As pain caused by physical insult is a major symptom of postoperative and arthritic inflammation, it seems that COX2 in nerve cells in the CNS is central to the pain that accompanies these conditions.

The most common way of managing the pain that accompanies inflammation is to use drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

These work by selectively blocking the protein COX2, which functions to produce soluble molecules known as prostaglandins. Although it is known that blocking COX2 in the tissue and in the brain and spinal cord (the CNS) reduces the pain that accompanies inflammation, the relative contribution of COX2 at these two sites to the pain that accompanies inflammation has not been determined.

However, a team of researchers, at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, have now shown that COX2 in mouse nerve cells in the CNS is crucial for some forms of pain associated with inflammation but not others. Specifically, hypersensitivity to pain caused by the heat associated with inflammation was normal in mice lacking COX2 in nerve cells in the CNS.

By contrast, hypersensitivity to pain caused by the physical insult associated with inflammation was abolished in these mice. As pain caused by physical insult is a major symptom of postoperative and arthritic inflammation, it seems that COX2 in nerve cells in the CNS is central to the pain that accompanies these conditions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. COX2 in CNS neural cells mediates mechanical inflammatory pain hypersensitivity in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation, Jan 6, 2009

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Nerve Cells In The Brain And Spinal Cord Sense Pain Caused By Physical Insult." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090105175019.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2009, January 9). Nerve Cells In The Brain And Spinal Cord Sense Pain Caused By Physical Insult. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090105175019.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Nerve Cells In The Brain And Spinal Cord Sense Pain Caused By Physical Insult." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090105175019.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

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