Molecular basis of mechanosensitivity

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    40 Citations (Scopus)


    An organism's ability to perceive mechanical stimuli is vital in determining how it responds to environmental challenges. External mechanosensation is responsible for the senses of touch, hearing, proprioception and aspects of somatic pain. Internally, mechanosensation underlies the initiation of autonomic reflex control and all manner of visceral sensations including chronic pain. Despite our increased knowledge of the molecular identity of invertebrate proteins that convert mechanical stimuli into electrical signals, understanding the complete molecular basis of mammalian mechanotransduction is currently a major challenge. Although the number of candidate molecules that serve as mechanotransducers is ever increasing, debate currently rages as to whether or not they contribute directly or indirectly to mammalian mechanotransduction. Despite these controversies novel molecules have been identified and their contribution to mechanosensation, be it direct or indirect, have improved our understanding of the mechanisms underlying visceral mechanosensation. Moreover, they have provided potential new pharmacological strategies for the control of visceral pain. Crown

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)58-68
    Number of pages11
    JournalAutonomic Neuroscience-Basic and Clinical
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2010


    • ASIC channels
    • Mechanosensation
    • Mechanotransduction
    • TRP channels
    • Visceral afferents


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