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Long-term sensitization increases both the number and size of active zones in the sensory nerve cells.
Connector nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord link your sensory nerve cells to your motor nerve cells, allowing you to make decisions.
In support of that claim, he and colleagues will describe in the March Nature Neuroscience how the actions of multiple, unspecified ion channels allow sensory nerve cells to react to coldness.
The researchers found a perfect test bed for this idea: Some sensory nerve cells extend fibers, or axons, into both the peripheral and central nervous systems.
For the nose to work, its sensory nerve cells must send out long extensions, or axons, to connect with the brain region called the olfactory bulb.
Several years ago, scientists discovered a large family of genes, numbering as many as a thousand, all of which encode cell surface proteins made by the sensory nerve cells within the mammalian nose.
To identify receptors that recognize capsaicin's presence and therefore trigger the burning feeling, researchers isolated genes active in sensory nerve cells that connect to the spinal cord.
In addition, the researchers plan to link the silicon neurons to existing analog chips that mimic sensory nerve cells in the ear (SN: 1/6/90, p.