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The Trigeminal System in Birds and Nociception

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Aim of this paper is to give a concise overview of what is known about the trigeminal nociceptive system in birds. Several types of nociceptors have been discovered, thermal nociceptors and polymodal, i.e. mechanothermal and mechanochemical receptors. Information from these receptors reaches the Laminae I and II of the caudal subnucleus of the descending trigeminal system and of the dorsal horn of the rostral spinal cord. The organization of the afferents to the avian brainstem and of the primary nociceptive centers is largely the same as that in mammals. This is also true for a number of histochemical characteristics of these primary centers.

The comparability of the ascending nociceptive system in birds and mammals is more problematic. This is due to the differences in organization of the forebrain in mammals and birds. The paper concludes with a short discussion on the sense of pain and the connection with nociception.

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Keywords: Trigeminal system; birds; hodology; neuropeptides; nociception; pain

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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  • Central Nervous System Agents in Medicinal Chemistry aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design for the discovery of new central nervous system agents. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in central nervous system medicinal chemistry.

    Central Nervous System Agents in Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments in central nervous system drug discovery.
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