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The effects of preferential A- and C-fibre blocks and T-type calcium channel antagonist on detection of low-force monofilaments in healthy human participants

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Neuroscience, August 2015
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Title
The effects of preferential A- and C-fibre blocks and T-type calcium channel antagonist on detection of low-force monofilaments in healthy human participants
Published in
BMC Neuroscience, August 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12868-015-0190-2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Saad S. Nagi, James S. Dunn, Ingvars Birznieks, Richard M. Vickery, David A. Mahns

Abstract

A myriad of studies have argued that tactile sensibility is underpinned exclusively by large myelinated mechanoreceptors. However, the functional significance of their slow-conducting counterparts, termed C-low threshold mechanoreceptors (C-LTMRs), remains largely unexplored. We recently showed the emergence of brush- and vibration-evoked allodynia in human hairy and glabrous skin during background muscle pain. The allodynia persisted following the preferential blockade of myelinated fibres but was abolished by the preferential blockade of cutaneous C fibres, thereby suggesting a pathway involving hairy skin C-LTMRs and their functional counterparts in glabrous skin in this phenomenon. In the present study, we tested the effects of preferential A- and C-fibre conduction blocks and pharmacological blockade of T-type calcium channel Cav3.2 (expressed selectively on small-fibre LTMRs) on monofilament detection thresholds in healthy participants by compression, low-dose intradermal anaesthesia (xylocaine 0.25 %) and selective T-channel antagonist, TTA-A2. We found that all participants could detect monofilament contacts (as low as 1.6 mN) within the innocuous tactile range regardless of the preferential blockade of myelinated fibres. Furthermore, during the compression block no subject reported a switch in modality from touch to pain. That is, the low-force monofilament contacts were always perceived as non-painful. However, there was a small but significant elevation of monofilament thresholds (~2 mN) in the glabrous skin following the compression block. Importantly, no differences were found in the thresholds across hairy and glabrous regions while the myelinated fibres were conducting or not. The preferential blockade of C fibres in the glabrous skin (with myelinated fibres intact) also resulted in a small but significant elevation of tactile thresholds. Furthermore, the use of T-channel blocker in the glabrous skin during compression block of myelinated fibres resulted in complete abolition of monofilament sensibility within the innocuous tactile range (tested up to ~20 mN). These observations suggest that C-LTMRs need not be regarded as a redundant tactile system, but appear to complement normal large-myelinated-fibre tactile function. Convergent findings in glabrous and hairy skin lend support for an underlying system of innocuous mechanoreception with Cav3.2-expressing unmyelinated fibres.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 20 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Australia 2 10%
Unknown 18 90%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 5 25%
Student > Ph. D. Student 4 20%
Student > Master 4 20%
Student > Bachelor 3 15%
Professor 1 5%
Other 1 5%
Unknown 2 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 6 30%
Neuroscience 5 25%
Psychology 2 10%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 2 10%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 1 5%
Other 2 10%
Unknown 2 10%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 13 August 2015.
All research outputs
#10,132,921
of 11,428,083 outputs
Outputs from BMC Neuroscience
#796
of 946 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#192,628
of 234,615 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Neuroscience
#19
of 22 outputs
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