Recently, researchers have found a new pain-sensing organ. This new organ is not an undiscovered organ in our bodies, but it has more to do with our skin. There is a type of a special cell that encloses the nerve cells that sense pain and which spread towards the outer layer of the skin. This type of special cells might be actually an organ that can sense pain.
The new discovery is important as researchers could understand pain better and it can lead to the creation of new painkillers. A question the scientists have asked but were not able to answer it quite yet is whether the newly discovered cells might have a say in various cases of chronic pain disorders.
These cells have been neglected by the scientists for such a long time until a team of researchers decided to study them. They are a variety of Schwann cells whose role is to enclose nerve cells and maintain them alive.
New Pain-Sensing Organ Discovered In The Skin
The Schwann cells resemble the shape of an octopus. The scientists examined samples of skin tissues and observed that these octopus-like cells reside under the outer layer of the skin. With their long ‘arms’ they cover the ends of pain-sensing nerve cells. These nerve cells spread to the outer layer of the skin.
Until now it was believed that the endings of nerve cells were exposed, but it seems that it was wrong. The Schwann cells are able to feel pain and also are like an extension to the nerve cells.
The researchers succeeded in doing this discovery by experimenting with lab mice. The researchers activated and deactivated the cells in various cases in order to see how they behave. If activated, the mice could sense pain. If deactivated, the mice did not sense the pain that sharp. The next thing that the researchers must find is how these Schwann cells transmit pain signals to the pain-sensitive nerve cells.