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Using C. elegans to Deconstruct Touch and Pain Sensation

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Air date: Monday, January 24, 2011, 12:00:00 PM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
Views: Total views: 199 * This only includes stats from October 2011 and forward.
Category: Neuroscience
Runtime: 00:57:33
Description: The ability to detect touch is conserved from echinoderms to humans. It relies on specialized mechanoreceptor neurons that vary in their sensitivity and association with accessory structures. Despite its importance and conservation across taxa, very little is known about how touch works. Dr. Goodman's lab seeks to improve understanding by studying the nematode C. elegans, a simple animal that has only 30 mechanoreceptor neurons. Their work focuses on two classes of mechanoreceptor neurons: the 6 non-ciliated touch receptor neurons (TRNs) that detect touch applied to the body wall and the paired ciliated ASH neurons that detect noxious mechanical stimuli applied to the nose. Genetic analysis has revealed ion channel genes needed for TRN and ASH function. To learn the precise cellular function of such channel proteins and to investigate their gating mechanisms, they combine genetic dissection with in vivo electrophysiology and biomechanical analysis. The picture emerging from their recent work is that touch activates similar ion channels in the nonciliated TRNs and the ciliated ASH neurons, which differ by 100-fold in their sensitivity to external force. Challenges for the future include understanding the basis for differences in sensitivity and the biophysics of mechanotransduction channel gating.

NIH Neuroscience Seminar Series
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NLM Title: Using C. elegans to deconstruct touch and pain sensation [electronic resource] / Miriam Goodman
Series: NIH neurosecience seminar
Author: Goodman, Miriam Beth.
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
Publisher:
Other Title(s): NIH neurosecience seminar
Abstract: (CIT): The ability to detect touch is conserved from echinoderms to humans. It relies on specialized mechanoreceptor neurons that vary in their sensitivity and association with accessory structures. Despite its importance and conservation across taxa, very little is known about how touch works. Dr. Goodman's lab seeks to improve understanding by studying the nematode C. elegans, a simple animal that has only 30 mechanoreceptor neurons. Their work focuses on two classes of mechanoreceptor neurons: the 6 non-ciliated touch receptor neurons (TRNs) that detect touch applied to the body wall and the paired ciliated ASH neurons that detect noxious mechanical stimuli applied to the nose. Genetic analysis has revealed ion channel genes needed for TRN and ASH function. To learn the precise cellular function of such channel proteins and to investigate their gating mechanisms, they combine genetic dissection with in vivo electrophysiology and biomechanical analysis. The picture emerging from their recent work is that touch activates similar ion channels in the nonciliated TRNs and the ciliated ASH neurons, which differ by 100-fold in their sensitivity to external force. Challenges for the future include understanding the basis for differences in sensitivity and the biophysics of mechanotransduction channel gating. NIH Neuroscience Seminar Series.
Subjects: Caenorhabditis elegans
Pain
Sensory Receptor Cells
Touch--physiology
Publication Types: Lectures
Webcasts
Download: To download this event, select one of the available bitrates:
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NLM Classification: WR 102
NLM ID: 101556033
CIT Live ID: 9913
Permanent link: https://videocast.nih.gov/launch.asp?16424

 

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