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Carmichael’s Concise Review Coming Events


2020 APMC-2020 – 12th Asia-Pacific Microscopy Conference


February 3–7, 2020 Hyderabad, India www.apmc12.in


Biophysical Society 64th Annual Meeting February 15–19, 2020 San Diego, CA www.biophysics.org/Meetings/AnnualMeeting/ FutureAnnualMeetings/tabid/495/Default.aspx


ACMM 26 – 26th Australian Conference on Microscopy and Microanalysis


February 16–20, 2020 Canberra, Australia www.acmm26.org/welcome


United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) Annual Meeting 2020 February 29–March 5, 2020 Los Angeles, CA www.uscap.org/uscap-annual-meeting


15th European Molecular Imaging Meeting – EMIM 2020


March 24–27, 2020 Thessaloniki, Greece www.e-smi.eu/index.php?id=1976


FOM2020 – Focus on Microscopy


April 5–8, 2020 Osaka, Japan http://focusonmicroscopy.org


Microscopy & Microanalysis 2020


August 2–6, 2020 Milwaukee, WI www.microscopy.org


2021


Microscopy & Microanalysis 2021 August 1–5, 2021


Pittsburgh, PA www.microscopy.org


2022


Microscopy & Microanalysis 2022 July 31–August 4, 2022


Portland, OR www.microscopy.org


2023


Microscopy & Microanalysis 2023 July 24–28, 2023


Minneapolis, MN www.microscopy.org


2024


Microscopy & Microanalysis 2024 July 28–August 1, 2024


Cleveland, OH www.microscopy.org


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Figure 1: Genetically expressed myelin proteolipid protein, indicated by the marker protein gene product 9.5, and yellow fluorescent protein. Nociceptive Schwann cells in the sub-epidermal border ensheathed unmyelinated nerve endings in mice. Scale bar is 10 μm.


doi:10.1017/S1551929519001226 2020 January


A New Organ for Feeling Pain Stephen W. Carmichael Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905


carmichael.stephen@mayo.edu Perceiving pain is essential to survival of an organism. One definition of pain is


the perception of harmful stimuli. Tis may be from an internal (inflammation, bowel distention, etc.) or external stimulus (for example, mechanical or thermal), and these types of pain are perceived by nociceptive pain receptors. Te current view is that external harmful (noxious) stimuli directly activate unmyelinated nerve endings in the skin. Tese nerve endings are associated with Remak glial cells that protect and metabolically support the unmyelinated nerves. Tese Remak glial cells are Schwann cells that do not myelinate the axons. Recently Hind Abdo, Laura Calvo-Enrique, Patrik Ernfors, and others investigated how these cutaneous Remak Schwann cells are distributed and interact with receptors (nociceptive nerve terminals) for detection of noxious stimuli [1]. What they found is described as a distinct type of Schwann cell and a new organ for feeling pain. Abdo et al. used genetic labeling to identify these cutaneous Schwann cells.


Recombination of specifically tagged cells revealed their location in the dermis near the border with the epidermis (Figure 1). Combining this with specific stains for neurons demonstrated that epidermal Schwann cell processes attached to the nerves. Transmission electron microscopy showed that nerve terminals emerged from the soma of Schwann cells located a few micrometers from the border of the epidermis and that the glial cell was the only source of cytoplasmic sheaths for the nerve terminals. Tese morphologically distinct glia also had other vital charac- terisitics such as a high expression of aquaporin, a protein that functions in water balance of cells. Nerve and Schwann cell processes were surrounded by a thick layer of fibrillar collagen that was distinct from the rest of the collagen in the dermis. Immunoelectron microscopy further confirmed the existence of a morphologically and molecularly specialized type of Schwann cell that formed a mesh-like network in the subepidermal border. Tis constituted a glial-neural complex with an intimate association with nociceptive nerves, which is insulated by a structural support of collagen fibers. Abdo et al. called these specialized glial cells nociceptive Schwann cells. Tese nociceptive cells were found to be a population distinct from other cuta- neous Schwann cells. Aſter the nociceptive Schwann cells were clearly identified, Abdo et al. used a


technique called optogenetics to determine if these cells could be stimulated by pain- ful stimuli. Since these cells are located superficially, intense light stimulation was used and was found to elicit limb withdrawal in certain strains of mice. Tis withdrawal


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