Author(s): Nagy I, Rang HP
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Abstract We have compared the membrane response of rat primary sensory neurons to capsaicin and noxious heat, using electrophysiological and ion flux measurements. Our aim was to determine whether, as recently proposed, the same molecular entity accounts for excitation by both types of stimulus. The properties of the ion channels activated by heat and capsaicin show many similarities but also important differences. The calcium permeability of heat-activated channels is lower than that of capsaicin-activated channels. Distinct single channels respond to heat or capsaicin, and only a few show dual sensitivity. At the whole-cell level, individual cells invariably show dual sensitivity, but the amplitudes of the responses show little correlation. We conclude that distinct molecular entities, which are both likely to be derived from the VR1 gene product, account for the membrane responses to heat and capsaicin.
This article was published in J Neurosci
and referenced in Alternative & Integrative Medicine