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Mechanosensor channels in mammalian somatosensory (...)

Sensors. 2007 ; 7:1667-1682
Mechanosensor channels in mammalian somatosensory neurons.
Raoux M, Rodat-Despoix L, Azorin N, Hao J, Giamarchi A, Maingret F, Crest C, Coste B, Delmas P.

Mechanoreceptive sensory neurons innervating the skin, skeletal muscles and viscera signal both innocuous and noxious information necessary for proprioception, touch and pain. These neurons are responsible for the transduction of mechanical stimuli into action potentials that propagate to the central nervous system. The ability of these cells to detect mechanical stimuli impinging on them relies on the presence of mechanosensitive channels that transduce the external mechanical forces into electrical and chemical signals. Although a great deal of information regarding the molecular and biophysical properties of mechanosensitive channels in prokaryotes has been accumulated over the past two decades, less is known about the mechanosensitive channels necessary for proprioception and the senses of touch and pain. This review summarizes the most pertinent data on mechanosensitive channels of mammalian somatosensory neurons, focusing on their properties, pharmacology and putative identity.

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