Primary nociceptive neurons are specialized sensory neurons that respond to noxious mechanical, thermal, and/or chemical stimuli. Transduction of these noxious physical stimuli into action potentials occurs in the peripheral terminals of these primary nociceptors. Changes in the conductance of specific ion channels expressed by the nociceptors cause membrane depolarization, which opens the voltage-gated sodium channels that initiate action potentials. The action potentials travel from the periphery along either unmyelinated (C-fiber) or thinly myelinated (Aδ-fiber) nociceptor axons to the central nervous system to signal the painful stimulus.
KeywordsNociceptor Noxious stimuli Transduction TRPV1 Generator potential Action potential Pain
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