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      Specialized cutaneous Schwann cells initiate pain sensation

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          Abstract

          An essential prerequisite for the survival of an organism is the ability to detect and respond to aversive stimuli. Current belief is that noxious stimuli directly activate nociceptive sensory nerve endings in the skin. We discovered a specialized cutaneous glial cell type with extensive processes forming a mesh-like network in the subepidermal border of the skin that conveys noxious thermal and mechanical sensitivity. We demonstrate a direct excitatory functional connection to sensory neurons and provide evidence of a previously unknown organ that has an essential physiological role in sensing noxious stimuli. Thus, these glial cells, which are intimately associated with unmyelinated nociceptive nerves, are inherently mechanosensitive and transmit nociceptive information to the nerve.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Science
          Science
          American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
          0036-8075
          1095-9203
          August 15 2019
          August 16 2019
          August 15 2019
          August 16 2019
          : 365
          : 6454
          : 695-699
          Article
          10.1126/science.aax6452
          31416963
          fc7a511a-b9b8-4c71-af54-91d5542ec07e
          © 2019

          http://www.sciencemag.org/about/science-licenses-journal-article-reuse

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