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A Genome-wide Drosophila Screen for Heat Nociception Identifies alpha 2 delta 3 as an Evolutionarily Conserved Pain Gene
Austrian Academy of Science.
University of Erlangen Nurnberg.
Harvard University.
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2010 (English)In: CELL, ISSN 0092-8674, Vol. 143, no 4, 628-638 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Worldwide, acute, and chronic pain affects 20% of the adult population and represents an enormous financial and emotional burden. Using genome-wide neuronal-specific RNAi knockdown in Drosophila, we report a global screen for an innate behavior and identify hundreds of genes implicated in heat nociception, including the alpha 2 delta family calcium channel subunit straightjacket (stj). Mice mutant for the stj ortholog CACNA2D3 (alpha 2 delta 3) also exhibit impaired behavioral heat pain sensitivity. In addition, in humans, alpha 2 delta 3 SNP variants associate with reduced sensitivity to acute noxious heat and chronic back pain. Functional imaging in alpha 2 delta 3 mutant mice revealed impaired transmission of thermal pain-evoked signals from the thalamus to higher-order pain centers. Intriguingly, in alpha 2 delta 3 mutant mice, thermal pain and tactile stimulation triggered strong cross-activation, or synesthesia, of brain regions involved in vision, olfaction, and hearing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. , 2010. Vol. 143, no 4, 628-638 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-62750DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.09.047ISI: 000284149100019OAI: diva2:374205
Available from: 2010-12-03 Created: 2010-12-03 Last updated: 2010-12-03

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Alenius, Mattias
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Faculty of Health SciencesDevelopmental Biology, IKE
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ReferencesLink to record
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