SOMATOSENSORY SYSTEMS, PAINCentral sensitization in medullary dorsal horn involves gap junctions and hemichannelsChiang, Chen Yua; Li, Zhaohuia; Dostrovsky, Jonathan O.a b; Sessle, Barry J.a bAuthor Information aFaculty of Dentistry, Department of Oral Physiology bFaculty of Medicine, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Correspondence to Barry J. Sessle, MDS, PhD, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Oral Physiology, University of Toronto, 124 Edward Street, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1G6, Canada Tel: +1 416 979 4910; fax: +1 416 979 4936; e-mail: email@example.com Chen Yu Chiang and Zhaohui Li contributed equally to this study Received 18 December 2009 accepted 23 December 2009 NeuroReport: February 17th, 2010 - Volume 21 - Issue 3 - p 233-237 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328336eecb Buy SDC Metrics Abstract Central sensitization is a fundamental mechanism contributing to acute and chronic pain conditions. Our previous studies have documented a glutamatergic, purinergic and glial-dependent central sensitization that can be induced in rat medullary dorsal horn nociceptive neurons by mustard oil application to the tooth pulp. This study showed that carbenoxolone, a potent gap junction and hemichannel blocker, completely blocked all parameters of mustard oil-induced central sensitization tested in functionally identified medullary dorsal horn nociceptive neurons. These results represent the first evidence suggesting that gap junctions and hemichannels may have a critical role in mediating central sensitization in dorsal horn nociceptive neurons and may account for the spread as well as development of central sensitization. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.