Role of gangliosides in peripheral pain mechanisms

Péter Sántha, Ildikó Dobos, Gyöngyi Kis, Gábor Jancsó

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)


Gangliosides are abundantly occurring sialylated glycosphingolipids serving diverse functions in the nervous system. Membrane-localized gangliosides are important components of lipid microdomains (rafts) which determine the distribution of and the interaction among specific membrane proteins. Different classes of gangliosides are expressed in nociceptive primary sensory neurons involved in the transmission of nerve impulses evoked by noxious mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli. Gangliosides, in particular GM1, have been shown to participate in the regulation of the function of ion channels, such as transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1), a molecular integrator of noxious stimuli of distinct nature. Gangliosides may influence nociceptive functions through their association with lipid rafts participating in the organization of functional assemblies of specific nociceptive ion channels with neurotrophins, membrane receptors, and intracellular signaling pathways. Genetic and experimentally induced alterations in the expression and/or metabolism of distinct ganglioside species are involved in pathologies associated with nerve injuries, neuropathic, and inflammatory pain in both men and animals. Genetic and/or pharmacological manipulation of neuronal ganglioside expression, metabolism, and action may offer a novel approach to understanding and management of pain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1005
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020



  • B subunit of cholera toxin
  • Ganglioside
  • Lipid raft
  • Nerve injury
  • Pain
  • Primary sensory neuron
  • Spinal cord
  • TRPV1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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