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Sensory neurons innervating the skin encode the familiar sensations of temperature, touch and pain. An explosion of progress has revealed unanticipated cellular and molecular complexity in these senses. It is now clear that perception of a single stimulus, such as heat, requires several transduction mechanisms. Conversely, a given protein may contribute to(More)
Math1 is a bHLH transcription factor expressed in neural progenitor cells in multiple regions of the nervous system. Previously we identified a Math1 enhancer that directs expression of reporter genes in a Math1 specific pattern [Development 127 (2000) 1185]. We have used a portion of this enhancer to drive expression of a nuclear GFP reporter in the Math1(More)
Chronic itch is a debilitating condition that affects one in 10 people. Little is known about the molecules that mediate chronic itch in primary sensory neurons and skin. We demonstrate that the ion channel TRPA1 is required for chronic itch. Using a mouse model of chronic itch, we show that scratching evoked by impaired skin barrier is abolished in(More)
Mechanically sensitive hair cells of the auditory and vestibular systems use Ca2+ to control adaptation of mechanical transduction, to effect frequency tuning, to trigger neurotransmitter release, and to mediate efferent synaptic signaling. To determine the role that pumps play in regulation of Ca2+ in the hair bundle, the organelle responsible for(More)
Merkel cell-neurite complexes are somatosensory receptors that initiate the perception of gentle touch. The role of epidermal Merkel cells within these complexes is disputed. To ask whether Merkel cells are genetically programmed to be excitable cells that may participate in touch reception, we purified Merkel cells from touch domes and used DNA microarrays(More)
Crossbred pigs were used to evaluate the effects of shipping stress on natural killer (NK) cell activity, leukocyte numbers, plasma cortisol, and BW changes. In the first study, pigs were bled at a commercial farm and, after shipping, resident and shipped pigs were bled again. Plasma cortisol concentrations were not different (P > .10) because of large(More)
The mechanoelectrical-transduction channel of the hair cell is permeable to both monovalent and divalent cations. Because Ca2+ entering through the transduction channel serves as a feedback signal in the adaptation process that sets the channel's open probability, an understanding of adaptation requires estimation of the magnitude of Ca2+ influx. To(More)
The peripheral nervous system detects different somatosensory stimuli, including pain, temperature, and touch. Merkel cell-neurite complexes are touch receptors composed of sensory afferents and Merkel cells. The role that Merkel cells play in light-touch responses has been the center of controversy for over 100 years. We used Cre-loxP technology to(More)
Ca2+ signaling and neurotransmission modulate touch-evoked responses in Merkel cell–neurite complexes. To identify mechanisms governing these processes, we analyzed voltage-activated ion channels and Ca2+ signaling in purified Merkel cells. Merkel cells in the intact skin were specifically labeled by antibodies against voltage-activated Ca2+ channels(More)
Touch submodalities, such as flutter and pressure, are mediated by somatosensory afferents whose terminal specializations extract tactile features and encode them as action potential trains with unique activity patterns. Whether non-neuronal cells tune touch receptors through active or passive mechanisms is debated. Terminal specializations are thought to(More)