Skip to main content

A balance of thermal inputs is required for temperature sensation.

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session IV

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • L.A. Pogorzala
  • S.K. Mishra
  • M.A. Hoon


Detection of environmental temperature is essential for survival as it allows for attraction to optimal, as well as aversion to potentially dangerous temperatures. Normally, mammals are able to detect subtle variation in a broad range of temperatures. However, upon injury or with chronic pain syndromes, innocuous temperatures can become extremely painful. In this study we look at the neuronal inputs responsible for both innocuous and noxious temperature sensation. TRP-ion channels have been widely studied as temperature sensitive channels based on in vitro studies. However, behavioral studies with deletion of specific channels have had extremely mild temperature sensitive phenotypes. In this study we used TRP channels as markers for temperature sensitive neurons and focused on inputs from two distinct populations. To examine the thermal properties of heat sensitive TRPV1 cells and cold sensitive TRPM8 cells, transgenic mice were created where these cell populations are ablated with diphtheria toxin treatment. We found that both cell populations are necessary for accurate temperature sensation from 0°C to 50°C and that a balance of inputs is required for an accurate assessment. In addition, we found that an additional cell population is required for detection of extreme temperatures.

back to top