10 October 2018
Vol 10, Issue 462

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER When Feathers Become Thorns. This image represents the concept of allodynia, a sensation of pain (thorns) induced by non-painful stimulation of the skin (feather) that is triggered by inflammation or nerve injury. A molecular mechanism mediating this alteration in pain sensitivity involves the ion channel Piezo2 (Murthy et al. and Szczot et al.). Sensory neuron expression of Piezo2 was shown to be critical for the development of allodynia in animal models. Individuals with PIEZO2 loss-of-function mutations did not develop allodynia, suggesting that targeting PIEZO2 might be effective for treating this painful condition. [CREDIT: ALAN HOOFRING/NIH MEDICAL ARTS]