Comparison of currents activated by noxious heat in rat and chicken primary sensory neurons

Istvan Nagy, Humphrey Rang

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The vanilloid receptor 1 (VR1) gene is responsible for both capsaicin-, and low threshold (LT) noxious heat-sensitivity in mammalian primary sensory neurons. Although, birds lack capsaicin-sensitivity they express LT noxious heat-sensitivity. Here, we compared LT noxious heat-activated whole-cell currents produced by rat and chicken cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons in order to find out the similarities and differences in the LT noxious heat transduction mechanisms between the two species. No significant differences between rat and chicken neurons were found in the mean cell diameter of the LT noxious heat-sensitive cells (20.4±0.8 μm, n=19 and 20.6±0.6 μm, n=11, respectively) and the average threshold (45.7±0.5°C, n=19 and 46.1±0.7°C, n=11, respectively) and peak amplitude (-2.9±0.6 nA, n=19 and -2.1±0.6 nA, n=11, respectively) of the heat-evoked responses. The current-voltage curves of the responses both in rat and chicken cells reversed at the same range (-19.5±3.8 mV, n=4 and -15.5±1.2 mV, n=3, respectively) and showed strong outward rectification at negative membrane potentials. While all LT noxious heat-sensitive rat cells responded to capsaicin, none of the chicken neurons produced detectable response to it. These findings suggest that a VR1 homologue which lacks to sequence for capsaicin-sensitivity is possibly the LT noxious heat transducer in chicken. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-6
Number of pages4
JournalRegulatory Peptides
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 22 2000



  • Capsaicin
  • Dorsal root ganglion (DRG)
  • Low threshold noxious heat-sensitivity
  • Vanilloid receptor 1 (VR1)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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