Sunday, August 25, 2019

Discovery of New Pain Organ

Article Written By: Mehak Bhansali


Karolinska Institutet researchers have found a new pain organ that can help scientists to better understand the process of how pain is experienced and processed by our body. More specifically, this organ is particularly responsive to pain originating from pressure and pricks, otherwise referred to as mechanical pain. 

This organ, termed as the nociceptive glio-neural complex, is a sensory receptor organ that is comprised of a collection of glial cells. This organ rests in between the skin’s outer and inner layers. The glial cells themselves contain protrusions that stem into the outer layer of the skin. 

The functionality of this organ was tested in mice, and it was observed that deactivating the nociceptive glio-neural complex resulted in the mice experiencing less pain from pricks and pressure, suggesting that this organ in fact does play a major role in the processing of mechanical pain. 

Although this organ is yet to be discovered in humans, it may help scientists to further develop their understanding on how our body interprets pain stimuli. It was previously thought that mechanical pain originated exclusively from nociceptive fibres. However, from this new finding this type of pain may very well start from the glio-neural complex instead. 

Read more about the discovery on the Karolinska Institutet website:
National Geographic article:

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