Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New role for pain receptor in movement control discovered

Date:
February 1, 2011
Source:
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
Summary:
Research on the thermoregulatory effects of a receptor more commonly studied for its role in pain has uncovered a new role of TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid-1) receptors in the regulation of locomotor activity, or the movement from place to place.

Research by a Barrow Neurological Institute scientist on the thermoregulatory effects of a receptor more commonly studied for its role in pain is the cover story in the Feb. 2 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. The research was conducted by an international team led by Andrej Romanovsky, MD, PhD, Director of the Systemic Inflammation Laboratory (FeverLab), at Barrow, which is a part of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center.

The featured research discovers a new role of TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid-1) receptors in the regulation of locomotor activity, or the movement from place to place. These receptors are widely known for their ability to be activated by capsaicin, the compound responsible for the hotness in chili peppers. TRPV1 receptors are located on sensory neural cells throughout the body and can also be activated by high temperature, acidity and other stimuli. Because of their responsiveness to such diverse factors, TRPV1 receptors are thought to serve as sensory integrators of the body's internal and external environments.

The study by Dr. Romanovsky's team was conducted in mice genetically deficient in the TRPV1 receptor. While studying how TRPV1-deficient mice regulate their body temperature, the researchers made an unexpected observation that these animals, when young, exhibit a much higher locomotor activity than control mice. Even during the light phase of the day (when mice are typically inactive), TRPV1-deficient animals were moving in the experimental chamber with an average speed of nearly one yard per minute -- faster than the speed of control mice at the peak of their daily activity.

The researchers then conducted experiments with drugs that block or activate TRPV1 receptors and looked at how these drugs affect general motor activity. These pharmacological experiments confirmed that TRPV1 receptors located outside the brain send signals to the brain to suppress locomotion.

"We all know that the body's propensity for physical activity changes based on numerous factors," explains Dr. Romanovsky. "For example, we do not want to exercise after having a large meal, when it is hot outside, or when we are tired, nauseated or in pain. We all know people who seem to be naturally inactive, as well as people who are more active than others. Our study suggests that the TRPV1 receptors may send signals that play a role in regulating the extent of locomotor activity."

This discovery, which is part of St. Joseph's trauma research, could have wide implications in determining whether TRPV1 receptors are involved in any of several motor and behavioral disorders, as well as the regulation of body weight. Future studies could potentially look at whether TRPV1-activating drugs could be used to decrease the propensity for exercise when people are confined to a limited space for prolonged time periods, as during spaceflight missions, or whether TRPV1-suppressing drugs could be used to boost levels of physical performance and endurance.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Garami, E. Pakai, D. L. Oliveira, A. A. Steiner, S. P. Wanner, M. C. Almeida, V. A. Lesnikov, N. R. Gavva, A. A. Romanovsky. Thermoregulatory Phenotype of the Trpv1 Knockout Mouse: Thermoeffector Dysbalance with Hyperkinesis. Journal of Neuroscience, 2011; 31 (5): 1721 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4671-10.2011

Cite This Page:

St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. "New role for pain receptor in movement control discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201172607.htm>.
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. (2011, February 1). New role for pain receptor in movement control discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201172607.htm
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. "New role for pain receptor in movement control discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201172607.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins