Table 1

Stimulating and sensitising substances for primary afferent nociceptive fibres

Stimulating substances induce, via receptor binding, depolarisation of the neuron and the formation of action potentials: for example bradykinin, histamine, serotonin, and prostaglandins

Sensitising substances lower the threshold of nociceptors, such that they become excited by non-noxious stimuli: for example 5-hydroxytryptamine, prostaglandins, bradykinin, adenosine, serotonin, noradrenalin, leucotrienes, tachykinins, and many inflammatory mediators (interleukin-1, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-α)