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 September 2, 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 September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. 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:
from the past week

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