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Neuroregulation of human nasal mucosa





Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Jul;1170:604-9.


Neuroregulation of human nasal mucosa.


Baraniuk JN, Merck SJ. Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20007-2197, USA. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Multiple subsets of nociceptive, parasympathetic, and sympathetic nerves innervate human nasal mucosa. These play carefully coordinated roles in regulating glandular, vascular, and other processes. These functions are vital for cleaning and humidifying ambient air before it is inhaled into the lungs. The recent identification of distinct classes of nociceptive nerves with unique patterns of transient receptor potential sensory receptor ion channel proteins may account for the polymodal, chemo- and mechanicosensitivity of many trigeminal neurons. Modulation of these families of proteins, excitatory and inhibitory autoreceptors, and combinations of neurotransmitters introduces a new level of complexity and subtlety to nasal innervation. These findings may provide a rational basis for responses to air-temperature changes, culinary and botanical odorants ("aromatherapy"), and inhaled irritants in conditions as diverse as allergic and nonallergic rhinitis, occupational rhinitis, hyposmia, and multiple chemical sensitivity.


PMID: 19686200 [PubMed - in process]










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  • Note: 'Nociceptive' refers to the sensation of pain. So, this study details the nerves in the nose and nasal passages that confer the sensation of pain to the brain.

    It's interesting that the researchers suggest the function (or dysfunction) of these nociceptive nerves could be associated with asthma, rhinitis (hayfever), and multiple chemical sensitivity. Much more research would be required to confirm any such connection.

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