PubMed 14526084

Title: Thalamic control of visceral nociception mediated by T-type Ca2+ channels.

Authors: Daesoo Kim, Donghyun Park, Soonwook Choi, Sukchan Lee, Minjeong Sun, Chanki Kim, Hee-Sup Shin

Journal, date & volume: Science, 2003 Oct 3 , 302, 117-9

PubMed link:

Sensations from viscera, like fullness, easily become painful if the stimulus persists. Mice lacking alpha1G T-type Ca2+ channels show hyperalgesia to visceral pain. Thalamic infusion of a T-type blocker induced similar hyperalgesia in wild-type mice. In response to visceral pain, the ventroposterolateral thalamic neurons evokeda surge of single spikes, which then slowly decayed as T type-dependent burst spikes gradually increased. In alpha1G-deficient neurons, the single-spike response persisted without burst spikes. These results indicate that T-type Ca2+ channels underlie an antinociceptive mechanism operating in the thalamus andsupport the idea that burst firing plays a critical role in sensory gating in the thalamus.