Redheads make up only 2% of the world’s population. In addition, they experience pain differently than others. Researchers now know why!
Venetian copper, hair, Copper or auburn, may have fifty shades of red, but all have the same origin , A mutation MC1R There are signs (five known) for melanocortin 1 receptor .
Inactive in , He no longer recognizes Melanotropic (MSH) then produces only one type , Responsible for pigmentation Skin, hair and body hair, flomelanin. The color of this pigment ranges from yellow to brown and is responsible for all shades of red.
But this is not the only evolution of this mutation. True, for the past fifteen years, scientists have known that mice and humans carry the gene MC1R Feel the transferDifferent from others. According to observations, redheads have an entry Pain tolerance, or nociception, is higher than others, and they are more sensitive Opioids.
Interpretations of high pain tolerance in redheads
The redheads were not abused during these experiments and were administered to mice with a red coat carrying the gene.Transferred. Support for red mice a It is twice as strong as wild rats with black coats and lasts for five seconds longer than others with a hot plate at 52 C. To explain this increased tolerance to pain, scientists have wondered whether melanocytes first entered . In their experience, they are really one of the variables to consider, because the MC1R mutation modifies They produce.
In redheads, melanocytes, the protein precursors of many hormones, including me-endorphins and melanotropic hormone, no longer produce enough propiomelanocortin. The latter does not interact with their receptor: at the MC4R level for the opioid receptor for β-endorphin and the melanotropic hormoneNociceptors. The opioid receptor is also stimulated by other hormones that are not derived from propiomelanocortin, although MC4R is inactive in redheads.
Therefore, with an inactive receptor, nociceptor neurons need more pain stimulation to be activated, which corresponds to the level of high pain tolerance observed in redheads, as well as their sensitivity to opioids.