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Merkel cells transduce and encode tactile stimuli to drive Aβ-afferent impulses

Authors
 Ryo Ikeda  ;  Myeounghoon Cha  ;  Jennifer Ling  ;  Zhanfeng Jia  ;  Dennis Coyle  ;  Jianguo G. Gu 
Citation
 CELL, Vol.157(3) : 664-675, 2014 
Journal Title
CELL
ISSN
 0092-8674 
Issue Date
2014
MeSH
Action Potentials ; Animals ; Calcium/metabolism ; Gene Knockdown Techniques ; Ion Channels/genetics ; Ion Channels/metabolism* ; Mechanoreceptors/metabolism ; Mechanotransduction, Cellular ; Merkel Cells/metabolism* ; Rats ; Touch* ; Vibrissae/cytology* ; Vibrissae/physiology*
Abstract
Sensory systems for detecting tactile stimuli have evolved from touch-sensing nerves in invertebrates to complicated tactile end organs in mammals. Merkel discs are tactile end organs consisting of Merkel cells and Aβ-afferent nerve endings and are localized in fingertips, whisker hair follicles, and other touch-sensitive spots. Merkel discs transduce touch into slowly adapting impulses to enable tactile discrimination, but their transduction and encoding mechanisms remain unknown. Using rat whisker hair follicles, we show that Merkel cells rather than Aβ-afferent nerve endings are primary sites of tactile transduction and identify the Piezo2 ion channel as the Merkel cell mechanical transducer. Piezo2 transduces tactile stimuli into Ca(2+)-action potentials in Merkel cells, which drive Aβ-afferent nerve endings to fire slowly adapting impulses. We further demonstrate that Piezo2 and Ca(2+)-action potentials in Merkel cells are required for behavioral tactile responses. Our findings provide insights into how tactile end-organs function and have clinical implications for tactile dysfunctions.
Files in This Item:
T201406381.pdf Download
DOI
10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.026
Appears in Collections:
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Physiology (생리학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Cha, Myeoung Hoon(차명훈) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7993-672X
URI
https://ir.ymlib.yonsei.ac.kr/handle/22282913/158617
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