Nobel Prize Medicine 2021 for discoveries on temperature and touch receptors – Corriere.it

Nobel Prize Medicine 2021 for discoveries on temperature and touch receptors – Corriere.it
Nobel Prize Medicine 2021 for discoveries on temperature and touch receptors – Corriere.it
from Silvia Turin

David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian proclaimed winners at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. Discovery that it will help against pain

David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries on temperature and touch receptors. The announcement of the Karolinska Institutet at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, was given live on the Internet. How are nerve impulses initiated so that temperature and pressure can be felt? This question was answered by this year’s Nobel laureates, the jury explained.

Fundamental discovery against pain

David Julius works at the University of California, San Francisco, and Ardem Patapoutian, at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla (USA). I am a nearly 66 year old American and a 54 year old Lebanese who fled the war when he was a boy. The award-winning line of research offers exciting medical possibilities, highlighting how to reduce chronic and acute pain associated with a range of diseases, trauma and their treatments. In fact, several pharmaceutical laboratories are working to identify molecules that act on these receptors with the aim of treating different forms of chronic pain, for example those associated with inflammatory processes such as arthritis.

From hot to cold, to mechanical stimuli

The discoveries of the TRPV1, TRPM8 and Piezo channels by this year’s Nobel Prize winners have allowed us to understand how heat, cold and mechanical force can initiate the nerve impulses that allow us to perceive and adapt our species to the world. that surrounds us.
David Julius identified the gene encoding the first temperature sensor, the ion channel TRPV1, using capsaicin, a pungent compound in chili that induces a burning sensation, and found that TRPV1 is also activated by high temperatures. The signal emitted by this receptor reaches the brain, which determines whether the heat is strong enough to burn the tissues and, if so, produces the sensation of pain.
Patapoutian used pressure-sensitive cells to discover a new class of sensors that respond to mechanical stimuli in the skin and internal organs.

Last year

Last year

the prestigious award had been given to the Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and the British scientist Michael Houghton for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus.

October 4, 2021 (change October 4, 2021 | 12:10)

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