Scientists explain causes of insensitivity to pain diggers

Ученые объяснили причины нечувствительности землекопов к боли

Insensitivity allows the diggers to live next door to ants.

Scientists from Africa and Europe said that they were able to explain the insensitivity of rodents-mole pain. As reported by the online edition of the with reference to this unique feature of rodents was associated with the suppression of the activity of genes that encode proteins associated with the transmission of pain signals.

Naked mole rats is a unique rodents. They form hierarchical flocks led by the female matriarch, and the duration of their life largely exceeds the average for rodents. In addition, they demonstrate resistance to the development of many types of cancer and almost insensitive to pain. This insensitivity is very important for them because it allows them to explore niches unavailable to other burrowing animals, for example, not far from the nest very aggressive ants.

In the study, researchers studied the response of naked mole rats and related species on exposure to substances that can cause a burning sensation on the skin of humans and other mammals: hydrochloric acid, capsaicin of red pepper and allyl mustard oil (AITC), giving the sharp taste of horseradish and wasabi. Insensitivity to acid showed three types of family semikopov to capsaicin or two, AITC — one.

It turned out that the insensitivity was not inherent in “ordinary” naked mole, and mole-peschanoy that are endemic to South Africa. Taking samples of neurons responsible for transmission of pain signal to the spinal cord, the researchers analyzed the activity of about seven thousand genes in them and found that the rodents is insensitive to AITC suppressed the activity of protein-coding genes, TRPA1 and NaV1.7. These membrane proteins are directly associated with the transmission of pain signals, and TRPA1 is targeted by a number of irritants plants.

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In many animals, the expression of the gene TRPA1 is lowered, but peskarev she was depressed at all. On the other hand, the neurons of these rodents demonstrated increased activity of the gene of another membrane protein NALCN, and scientists have shown that if this protein is to chemically block the animals here exhibit the same sensitivity to burn allyl mustard oil.

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