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An ultrafast system for signaling mechanical pain in human skin
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Sydney, Australia.
Univ Manchester, England; Liverpool John Moores Univ, England.
Liverpool John Moores Univ, England.
Umea Univ, Sweden.
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2019 (English)In: Science Advances, E-ISSN 2375-2548, Vol. 5, no 7, article id eaaw1297Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The canonical view is that touch is signaled by fast-conducting, thickly myelinated afferents, whereas pain is signaled by slow-conducting, thinly myelinated ("fast" pain) or unmyelinated ("slow" pain) afferents. While other mammals have thickly myelinated afferents signaling pain (ultrafast nociceptors), these have not been demonstrated in humans. Here, we performed single-unit axonal recordings (microneurography) from cutaneous mechanoreceptive afferents in healthy participants. We identified A-fiber high-threshold mechanoreceptors (A-HTMR5) that were insensitive to gentle touch, encoded noxious skin indentations, and displayed conduction velocities similar to A-fiber low-threshold mechanoreceptors. Intraneural electrical stimulation of single ultrafast A-HTMRs evoked painful percepts. Testing in patients with selective deafferentation revealed impaired pain judgments to graded mechanical stimuli only when thickly myelinated fibers were absent. This function was preserved in patients with a loss-of-function mutation in mechanotransduction channel PIEZO2.These findings demonstrate that human mechanical pain does not require PIEZO2 and can be signaled by fast-conducting, thickly myelinated afferents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER ASSOC ADVANCEMENT SCIENCE , 2019. Vol. 5, no 7, article id eaaw1297
National Category
Textile, Rubber and Polymeric Materials
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-159733DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw1297ISI: 000478770400048PubMedID: 31281886OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-159733DiVA, id: diva2:1343865
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council; ALF Region Ostergotland; Pain Relief Foundation; Intramural Research Program of the NIH, NCCIH; NINDS; DDIR Innovation Award

Available from: 2019-08-19 Created: 2019-08-19 Last updated: 2019-08-19

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Center for Social and Affective NeuroscienceFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesDepartment of Clinical Neurophysiology
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