Ever wonder why sunburn stings after being exposed by the Sun for many hours? Researchers from King’s College London have found the specific molecule that causes the stinging that comes from sunburn. By finding this molecule, this opens the door for finding ways to treat this pain not only for sunburns but for other conditions such as arthritis.
The molecule is a protein that they named CXCL5 and was found by experimenting on humans and mice. The scientists asked volunteers to expose small patches of their skin to UVB radiation which is most responsible for sunburn. The researchers would analyze the affected skin to find the proteins that are connected with the pain. They would do the same thing with mice and gave an antibody that neutralized CXCL5 to make sure that this protein was the cause of pain. They found that the CXL5 recruits inflammatory immune cells to damage tissue and trigger the sting.
Overall, this would help scientists understand how pain works and could lead to the expansion of better treatments.
What do you think of this discovery?