Connection between pain and aging may lead through matabolic genes

Age brings pain: back pain, eye strain, sore joints, and the like. And pain, too, seems to accelerate aging. Several studies have reported that people with chronic pain have shorter lives than everybody else.

But is the link between pain and aging due to the co-occurance of sickness and decay, or rather to the perception — the feeling — of pain itself?

“If you burn your finger right now, is that going to affect the aging process?” asks Celine Riera, a postdoc in Andrew Dillin’s lab at the University of California, Berkeley. The answer is yes, according a mouse study by Riera appearing today in Cell.

o how could a pain receptor influence metabolism? Turns out that (in normal animals) these receptors cluster around beta cells of the pancreas, which secrete insulin. When the TRPV1 receptors are stimulated by pain, they release a protein called calcitronin gene-related peptide, or CGRP.

Read the full, original story: No Pain, No Aging

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