Allan I . Basbaum

Learn More
The capsaicin (vanilloid) receptor VR1 is a cation channel expressed by primary sensory neurons of the "pain" pathway. Heterologously expressed VR1 can be activated by vanilloid compounds, protons, or heat (>43 degrees C), but whether this channel contributes to chemical or thermal sensitivity in vivo is not known. Here, we demonstrate that sensory neurons(More)
TRPA1 is an excitatory ion channel targeted by pungent irritants from mustard and garlic. TRPA1 has been proposed to function in diverse sensory processes, including thermal (cold) nociception, hearing, and inflammatory pain. Using TRPA1-deficient mice, we now show that this channel is the sole target through which mustard oil and garlic activate primary(More)
Capsaicin, the main pungent ingredient in "hot" chili peppers, elicits buming pain by activating specific (vanilloid) receptors on sensory nerve endings. The cloned vanilloid receptor (VR1) is a cation channel that is also activated by noxious heat. Here, analysis of heat-evoked single channel currents in excised membrane patches suggests that heat gates(More)
Tissue injury generates endogenous factors that heighten our sense of pain by increasing the response of sensory nerve endings to noxious stimuli. Bradykinin and nerve growth factor (NGF) are two such pro-algesic agents that activate G-protein-coupled (BK2) and tyrosine kinase (TrkA) receptors, respectively, to stimulate phospholipase C (PLC) signalling(More)
The nervous system detects and interprets a wide range of thermal and mechanical stimuli, as well as environmental and endogenous chemical irritants. When intense, these stimuli generate acute pain, and in the setting of persistent injury, both peripheral and central nervous system components of the pain transmission pathway exhibit tremendous plasticity,(More)
Sensory nerve fibres can detect changes in temperature over a remarkably wide range, a process that has been proposed to involve direct activation of thermosensitive excitatory transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels. One such channel--TRP melastatin 8 (TRPM8) or cold and menthol receptor 1 (CMR1)--is activated by chemical cooling agents (such as(More)
The sensation of pain alerts us to real or impending injury and triggers appropriate protective responses. Unfortunately, pain often outlives its usefulness as a warning system and instead becomes chronic and debilitating. This transition to a chronic phase involves changes within the spinal cord and brain, but there is also remarkable modulation where pain(More)
Behavioral responses to painful stimuli require peripheral sensory neurons called nociceptors. Electrophysiological studies show that most C-fiber nociceptors are polymodal (i.e., respond to multiple noxious stimulus modalities, such as mechanical and thermal); nevertheless, these stimuli are perceived as distinct. Therefore, it is believed that(More)
The peripheral branch of primary sensory neurons regenerates after injury, but there is no regeneration when their central branch is severed by spinal cord injury. Here we show that microinjection of a membrane-permeable analog of cAMP in lumbar dorsal root ganglia markedly increases the regeneration of injured central sensory branches. The injured axons(More)