Excitation of rat cutaneous nociceptors by noxious cold

Donald A Simone, Keith C. Kajander

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87 Scopus citations


Electrophysiological recordings were made from mechanosensitive nociceptors innervating hairy skin of the rat hindpaw, and responses evoked by a wide range of noxious cold stimuli (20 to -12°C) were determined. All Aδ and C nociceptors sampled were excited by noxious cold. Response thresholds of Aδ nociceptors were significantly higher (colder stimulus temperatures) than thresholds of C fibers, and many exhibited response thresholds below 0°C. Responses of both classes of nociceptors increased as stimulus temperature decreased. These data demonstrate that Aδ and C nociceptors are excited by a wide range of cold stimuli and suggest that the proportion of cutaneous nociceptors excited by noxious cold has been underestimated in previous studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-56
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 26 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Eric Stevens for help with preparation of the figures, and Brian Allen, Brandon Allard and Christine Courtiex for their participation in some experiments. This research was supported by NIH grant NS29567 (KCK) and a grant from the Minnesota Medical Foundation (DAS).


  • Electrophysiology
  • Nerve fibers
  • Pain
  • Sensation


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