N- and L-Type Voltage-Dependent Ca<SUP>2+</SUP> Channels Contribute to the Generation of After-Discharges in the Spinal Ventral Root After Cessation of Noxious Mechanical Stimulation

Laboratory of CNS Pharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nagoya City University, Mizuho-ku, Japan.
Journal of Pharmacological Sciences (Impact Factor: 2.36). 04/2012; 119(1):82-90. DOI: 10.1254/jphs.12035FP
Source: PubMed


Voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels (VDCCs) play a crucial role in the spinal pain transduction. We previously reported that nociceptive mechanical stimuli to the rat hindpaw evoked two types of ventral root discharges that increased during stimulation (during-discharges) and after cessation of stimulation (after-discharges). To explore the involvement of VDCCs in these ventral root discharges, several VDCC blockers were applied directly to the surface of the spinal cord. Spinalized rats were laminectomized. The fifth lumbar ventral root was sectioned and used for multi-unit efferent discharges recording. An agar pool was constructed on the first lumbar vertebra for drug application. Ethosuximide (a T-type VDCC blocker) had no effect on ventral root discharges. ω-Conotoxin GVIA (an N-type VDCC blocker) preferentially suppressed after-discharges. ω-Agatoxin IVA (a P/Q-type VDCC blocker), diltiazem, and verapamil (L-type VDCC blockers) nonselectively depressed both during- and after-discharges. The more selective L-type VDCC blocker nicardipine depressed only after-discharges and the depression was exhibited when nicardipine was microinjected into the dorsal horn, but not into the ventral horn. These findings suggested that N- and L-type VDCCs in the dorsal horn were involved in the generation of after-discharges and these blockers might be useful for treatment of persistent pain that involves the spinal pathway.

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    ABSTRACT: Neuropathic pain induces allodynia and hyperalgesia. In the spared nerve injury (SNI) model, marked mechanical hyperalgesia is manifested as prolongation of the duration of paw withdrawal after pin stimulation. We have previously reported that spinal ventral root discharges (after-discharges) after cessation of noxious mechanical stimulation applied to the corresponding hindpaw were prolonged in anesthetized spinalized rats. Since these after-discharges occurred through transient receptor potential (TRP) V1-positive fibers, these fibers could contribute to mechanical hyperalgesia. Therefore, we examined whether selective deletion of TRPV1-positive fibers by resiniferatoxin, an ultrapotent TRPV1 agonist, would affect the behavioral changes and ventral root discharges in SNI rats. Mechanical allodynia in the von Frey test, mechanical hyperalgesia after pin stimulation, and enhancement of ventral root discharges, but not thermal hyperalgesia in the plantar test, appeared in Wistar rats with SNI. Mechanical hyperalgesia was abolished by treatment with resiniferatoxin, whereas mechanical allodynia was not affected. Moreover, resiniferatoxin eliminated after-discharges completely. These results show that TRPV1-positive fibers do not participate in the mechanical allodynia caused by sensitization of Aβ-fibers, but contribute to the enhancement of after-discharges and mechanical hyperalgesia following SNI. It is suggested that the mechanisms responsible for generating mechanical allodynia differ from those for prolongation of mechanical hyperalgesia.
    Journal of Pharmacological Sciences 12/2012; 121(1). DOI:10.1254/jphs.12213FP · 2.36 Impact Factor