Citation

4749 total record number 121 records this year

Divergent Sensory Pathways of Sneezing and Coughing

Jiang, H;Cui, H;Chen, M;Li, F;Shen, X;Guo, C;Hoekel, G;Zhu, Y;Han, L;Wu, K;Holtzman, M;Liu, Q;

Sneezing and coughing are primary symptoms of many respiratory viral infections and allergies. It is generally assumed that sneezing and coughing involve common sensory receptors and molecular neurotransmission mechanism. Here we show that the nasal mucosa is innervated by several discrete populations of sensory neurons, but only one population (MrgprC11+MrgprA3-) mediates sneezing responses to a multitude of nasal irritants, allergens and viruses. Although this population also innervates the trachea, it does not mediate coughing as revealed by our newly established cough model. Instead, a distinct sensory population (SST+) mediates coughing but not sneezing, unraveling an unforeseen sensory difference between sneezing and coughing. At the circuit level, sneeze and cough signals are transmitted and modulated by divergent neuropathways. Together, our study reveals the first difference in sensory receptors and neurotransmission / modulation mechanisms between sneezing and coughing, offering neuronal drug targets for symptom management in respiratory viral infections and allergies.