Sunday, January 14, 2007

Adrenal Cells and Pain

Kevin McHenry's latest blog is on chomaffin cells and the relationship they may have to reducing pain. In there he mentions their "strange affinity" with neurons. He marvels that with the addition of "a little acid", chromaffin cells can be made to turn into neurons.

Perhaps this is not so strange when we remember that they are close relatives, coming as they do, embryologically, from neural crest. Anything made after mesenchyme splits off (to make mesodermal derivatives like bone, muscle, joints, connective tissue, which create structural support for an organism and use way less oxygen) ... anything made after the mesenchymal layer splits off is likely to have a higher "access code" to the nervous system proper than anything mesodermal, and enjoy a closer relationship.

Neural crest makes the entire peripheral nervous system - not motor axons, but all the sensory neurons including dorsal root ganglia, and all sympathetic nervous system related structures like chromaffin cells.

No comments: