The endogenous redox agent L-cysteine induces T-type Ca2+ channel-dependent sensitization of a novel subpopulation of rat peripheral nociceptors
ABSTRACT Recent studies have demonstrated a previously unrecognized contribution of T-type Ca2+ channels in peripheral sensory neurons to pain sensation (nociception). However, the cellular mechanisms underlying the functions of these channels in nociception are not known. Here, in both acutely dissociated and intact rat dorsal root ganglion neurons, we characterize a novel subpopulation of capsaicin- and isolectin B4-positive nociceptors that also expresses a high density of T-type Ca2+ currents. Using these "T-rich" cells as a model, we demonstrate that the endogenous reducing agent L-cysteine lowers the threshold for nociceptor excitability and induces burst firing by increasing the amplitude of T-type currents and shifting the gating parameters of T-type channels. These findings, which provide the first direct evidence of T-type Ca2+ channel involvement in the control of nociceptor excitability, suggest that endogenous T-type channel agonists may sensitize a unique subpopulation of peripheral nociceptors, consequently influencing pain processing under normal or pathological conditions.
SourceAvailable from: Terrance P Snutch[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is implicated in the nociceptive (pain) sensitivity of primary afferent neurons. We found that the IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) functionally stimulated voltage-gated T-type Ca(2+) (CaV3) channels in mouse dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons through a mechanism dependent on heterotrimeric G protein (heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein) signaling. IGF-1 increased T-type channel currents in small-diameter DRG neurons in a manner dependent on IGF-1 concentration and IGF-1R but independent of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). The intracellular subunit of IGF-1R coimmunoprecipitated with Gαo. Blocking G protein signaling by the intracellular application of guanosine diphosphate (GDP)-β-S or with pertussis toxin abolished the stimulatory effects of IGF-1. Antagonists of protein kinase Cα (PKCα), but not of PKCβ, abolished the IGF-1-induced T-type channel current increase. Application of IGF-1 increased membrane abundance of PKCα, and PKCα inhibition (either pharmacologically or genetically) abolished the increase in T-type channel currents stimulated by IGF-1. IGF-1 increased action potential firing in DRG neurons and increased the sensitivity of mice to both thermal and mechanical stimuli applied to the hindpaw, both of which were attenuated by intraplantar injection of a T-type channel inhibitor. Furthermore, inhibiting IGF-1R signaling or knocking down CaV3.2 or PKCα in DRG neurons abolished the increased mechanical and thermal sensitivity that mice exhibited under conditions modeling chronic hindpaw inflammation. Together, our results showed that IGF-1 enhances T-type channel currents through the activation of IGF-1R that is coupled to a G protein-dependent PKCα pathway, thereby increasing the excitability of DRG neurons and the sensitivity to pain.Science Signaling 10/2014; 7(346):ra94. DOI:10.1126/scisignal.2005283 · 7.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The importance of H2S as a physiological signaling molecule continues to develop, and ion channels are emerging as a major family of target proteins through which H2S exerts many actions. The purpose of the present study was to investigate its effects on T-type Ca(2+) channels. Using patch-clamp electrophysiology, we demonstrate that the H2S donor, NaHS (10 μM-1 mM) selectively inhibits Cav3.2 T-type channels heterologously expressed in HEK293 cells, whereas Cav3.1 and Cav3.3 channels were unaffected. The sensitivity of Cav3.2 channels to H2S required the presence of the redox-sensitive extracellular residue H191, which is also required for tonic binding of Zn(2+) to this channel. Chelation of Zn(2+) with N,N,N',N'-tetra-2-picolylethylenediamine prevented channel inhibition by H2S and also reversed H2S inhibition when applied after H2S exposure, suggesting that H2S may act via increasing the affinity of the channel for extracellular Zn(2+) binding. Inhibition of native T-type channels in 3 cell lines correlated with expression of Cav3.2 and not Cav3.1 channels. Notably, H2S also inhibited native T-type (primarily Cav3.2) channels in sensory dorsal root ganglion neurons. Our data demonstrate a novel target for H2S regulation, the T-type Ca(2+) channel Cav3.2, and suggest that such modulation cannot account for the pronociceptive effects of this gasotransmitter.-Elies, J., Scragg, J. L., Huang, S., Dallas, M. L., Huang, D., MacDougall, D., Boyle, J. P. Gamper, N., Peers, C. Hydrogen sulfide inhibits Cav3.2 T-type Ca(2+) channels.Nitric Oxide 09/2014; DOI:10.1096/fj.14-257113 · 3.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Low-voltage-activated (T-type) calcium channels are important regulators of the transmission of nociceptive information in the primary afferent pathway and finding ligands that modulate these channels is a key focus of the drug discovery field. Recently, we characterized a set of novel compounds with mixed cannabinoid receptor/T-type channel blocking activity and examined their analgesic effects in animal models of pain. Here, we have built on these previous findings and synthesized a new series of small organic compounds. We then screened them using whole-cell voltage clamp techniques to identify the most potent T-type calcium channel inhibitors. The two most potent blockers (compound 9 and 10) were then characterized using radioligand binding assays to determine their affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors. The structure-activity relationship and optimization studies have led to the discovery of a new T-type calcium channel blocker, compound 9. Compound 9, was efficacious in mediating analgesia in mouse models of acute inflammatory pain and in reducing tactile allodynia in the partial nerve ligation model. This compound was shown to be ineffective in Cav3.2 T-type calcium channel null mice at therapeutically relevant concentrations and it caused no significant motor deficits in open field tests. Taken together, our data reveal a novel class of compounds whose physiological and therapeutic actions are mediated through block of Cav3.2 calcium channels.ACS Chemical Neuroscience 10/2014; 6(2). DOI:10.1021/cn500206a · 4.21 Impact Factor