Ph.D. University College London, UK
Sensing acidosis is an important somatosensory function in responses to ischemia, inflammation, and metabolic alteration. Accumulating evidence has shown that acidosis is an effective factor for pain induction and that many intractable chronic pain diseases are associated with acidosis signaling. Various receptors have been known to detect extracellular acidosis and all express in the somatosensory neurons, such as acid sensing ion channels (ASIC), transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and proton-sensing G-protein coupled receptors. In addition to sense noxious acidic stimulation, these proton-sensing receptors also play a vital role in pain processing. For example, ASICs and TRPs are involved in not only nociceptive activation but also anti-nociceptive effects as well as some other non-nociceptive pathways. Herein, we review recent progress in probing the roles of proton-sensing receptors in preclinical pain research and their clinical relevance. We also propose a new concept of sngception to address the specific somatosensory function of acid sensation. This review aims to connect these acid-sensing receptors with basic pain research and clinical pain diseases, thus helping with better understanding the acid-related pain pathogenesis and their potential therapeutic roles via the mechanism of acid-mediated antinociception.