In primates, C-fibre polymodal nociceptors are broadly classified into two groups based on mechanosensitivity. Here we demonstrate that mechanically sensitive polymodal nociceptors that respond either quickly (QC) or slowly (SC) to a heat stimulus differ in responses to a mild burn, heat sensitization, conductive properties and chemosensitivity. Superficially applied capsaicin and intradermal injection of Î 2-alanine, an MrgprD agonist, excite vigorously all QCs. Only 40% of SCs respond to β-alanine, and their response is only half that of QCs. Mechanically insensitive C-fibres (C-MIAs) are β-alanine insensitive but vigorously respond to capsaicin and histamine with distinct discharge patterns. Calcium imaging reveals that β-alanine and histamine activate distinct populations of capsaicin-responsive neurons in primate dorsal root ganglion. We suggest that histamine itch and capsaicin pain are peripherally encoded in C-MIAs, and that primate polymodal nociceptive afferents form three functionally distinct subpopulations with β-alanine responsive QC fibres likely corresponding to murine MrgprD-expressing, non-peptidergic nociceptive afferents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)