David S. Huen smh1008 at
Wed Nov 9 03:59:34 EST 1994

In article <39p6so$3co at>, nishir at (Rae Nishi) wrote:

> Hope you can stand one more comment on this topic.  There are specific
> receptors for capasicin on sensory neurons and they appear to be on the
> ones that contain substance P and sense slow pain.  Application of
> capsaicin causes depolarization of the sensory neuron by opening a
> channels in the membrane.  Eating lots of capsaicin destroys the fibers
> (probably by an excitotoxic mechanism).  That's why those who eat alot
> of chillies are less sensitive to the pain.  In newborn rats injection
> of capscaicin causes death of these sensory neurons. 

I might well be mistaken but I thought that capsaicin activated the same
class of protein kinase Cs as resiniferatoxin (a phorbol ester) ?

On another note, being a hot food junkie, what is a habanero and where in
the scale do those tiny little Thai chillies fit?

David S. Huen                        Phone: (0223) 333921
CRC Human Cancer Genetics Group      Fax:   (0223) 333875
Dept. of Pathology                   e-mail: smh1008 at
University of Cambridge
CB2 1QP                              
United Kingdom

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