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Cells Exposed to Capsaicin

Cells Exposed to Capsaicin

Cells Exposed to Capsaicin

Levels of free intracellular calcium in cultured sensory ganglion neurons. Normally the levels of calcium are low as depicted by the blue color. Neurons that sense heat also respond to the addition of capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot chili, which is why hot chili feels hot. Heat or capsaicin open a channel in the membrane of some of the neurons and the channel lets in calcium from the fluid around the cell. The cells that have a just few channels show less of an increase (green), and the ones that make a lot of the heat/capsaicin-sensitive channel show a pronounced increase (red cells). It is the channel function that we aim to manipulate with chemical agents and we hope to use these chemicals to control pain.
Structure Activity Relationships of 1,4-Dihydropyridines That Act as Enhancers of the Vanilloid Receptor 1 (TRPV1). Roh EJ, Keller JM, Zoltan O, Iadarola MJ, and Jacobson KA. Bioorg Med Chem. 2008 October 15; 16(20): 9349–9358.

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This page last updated: April 18, 2014