Piezo2 mediates low-threshold mechanically-evoked pain in the cornea
The cornea is highly vulnerable to injury by external mechanical forces, with serious consequences on vision and health. Fernández-Trillo et al. have shown the expression of Piezo2, the primary molecular sensor mediating touch, in nociceptive corneal neurons. Genetic elimination of Piezo2 produced a marked reduction in the mechanosensitivity of the peripheral corneal nerve terminals of these neurons, thus suggesting that Piezo2 participates in the detection of low-intensity but already harmful mechanical stimuli acting on the eye surface. These observations open the way to the topical pharmacological modulation of Piezo2 as a potential therapy to relief corneal unpleasant sensations and pain accompanying many ocular surface disorders.