About this Research Topic
Life of all organisms crucially depends on their ability to detect external and internal temperatures and adequately react, physiologically and behaviorally, to variations in this physical factor. This ability is provided by multiple mechanisms operating in neurons and non-neuronal cells at different levels, from molecular and sub-cellular to cellular and systemic. Studies of these mechanisms in various research domains each year bring new findings, which require an integrated comprehensive assessment. А pledge of progress in the field is establishing closer mutually enriching inter-domain links. This multi-disciplinary Research Topic is designed as a step forward on this way. It is aimed at assembling contributions of researchers from different domains of expertise and building together a firm conceptual framework for deeper insight into mechanisms underlying temperature-dependence of functioning of neurons and other cell types in health and disease. We welcome contributions (research and methodology papers, mini-reviews, conceptual generalizations and opinions) on the following matters or combinations thereof.
1. Molecular substrates for temperature sensitivity of neurons and non-neuronal cells. Of primary interest are ion channels expressed in different cell types, their molecular structure and biophysical properties determining high (temperature coefficients Q10≥5) or lower (Q10≤3) thermo-sensitivity. Molecular basis for the channels to be or not to be functionally specialized as thermo-sensors and thermo-electric transducers (e.g. TRP and non-TRP type channels). Thermodynamic aspects and gating models of thermo-TRPs and other temperature-sensitive ion channels. Factors that determine the channels’ operational temperature ranges (e.g. isoforms, single-nucleotide polymorphisms, mutations, effects of neurotransmitters, G-protein activation, intracellular calcium, lipids, etc.).
2. Temperature dependence of ion transport processes and metabolic reactions that underlie intra- and inter-cellular biochemical signaling.
3. Collective electrical behavior of complements of ion channels in sensory endings of primary afferent neurons of somatic and visceral nervous systems. Interplay of channels operating as primary thermo-electrical transducers and membrane potential controllers that determine receptor potentials.
4. Transduction of innocuous and noxious temperatures into firing patterns by sensory neurons: neuronal coding of temperatures. Temperature-dependence of evoked and intrinsic firing patterns in neurons of different types expressing type-specific complements of ion channels.
5. Mechanisms underlying physiological and behavioral reactions to heat and cold observed in animals and humans under normal and pathological (e.g. inflammation, pain, and itch) conditions.
6. Clinical aspects of temperature dependence of neuronal excitability. Mechanisms underlying thermal hyperalgesia, dysregulation of body and cerebral temperature, febrile seizures. Therapeutic hypothermia and its use for suppression of drug-resistant epileptiform brain activity or treatment of neonatal encephalopathy.
Other relevant issues are welcome too.
Keywords: neurons, excitability, thermosensitive ion channels, thermoreceptors, therapeutic hypothermia
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