[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been established that CaV3.2 T-type voltage-gated calcium channels (T-channels) play a key role in the sensitized (hyperexcitable) state of nociceptive sensory neurons (nociceptors) in response to hyperglycemia associated with diabetes which in turn can be a basis for painful symptoms of peripheral diabetic neuropathy (PDN). Unfortunately, current treatment for painful PDN has been limited by non-specific systemic drugs with significant side effects or potential for abuse.We studied in vitro and in vivo mechanisms of plasticity of CaV3.2 T-channel in a leptin-deficient (ob/ob) mouse model of PDN.We demonstrate that post-translational glycosylation of specific extracellular asparagine residues in CaV3.2 channels accelerates current kinetics, increases current density and augments channel membrane expression. Importantly, de-glycosylation treatment with neuraminidase inhibits native T-currents in nociceptors and in so doing completely and selectively reverses hyperalgesia in diabetic ob/ob mice without altering baseline pain responses in healthy mice.Our study describes a new mechanism for the regulation of CaV3.2 activity and suggests that modulating the glycosylation state of T-channels in nociceptors may provide a way to suppress peripheral sensitization. Understanding the details of this regulatory pathway could facilitate the development of novel specific therapies for the treatment of painful PDN.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here, we describe a new mechanism by which glutamate (Glu) and trace metals reciprocally modulate activity of the Ca(v)2.3 channel by profoundly shifting its voltage-dependent gating. We show that zinc and copper, at physiologically relevant concentrations, occupy an extracellular binding site on the surface of Ca(v)2.3 and hold the threshold for activation of these channels in a depolarized voltage range. Abolishing this binding by chelation or the substitution of key amino acid residues in IS1-IS2 (H111) and IS2-IS3 (H179 and H183) loops potentiates Ca(v)2.3 by shifting the voltage dependence of activation toward more negative membrane potentials. We demonstrate that copper regulates the voltage dependence of Ca(v)2.3 by affecting gating charge movements. Thus, in the presence of copper, gating charges transition into the "ON" position slower, delaying activation and reducing the voltage sensitivity of the channel. Overall, our results suggest a new mechanism by which Glu and trace metals transiently modulate voltage-dependent gating of Ca(v)2.3, potentially affecting synaptic transmission and plasticity in the brain.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · The Journal of General Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ion-channel TRPV1 is believed to be a major sensor of noxious heat, but surprisingly animals lacking TRPV1 still display marked responses to elevated temperature. In this study, we explored the role of TRPV1-expressing neurons in somatosensation by generating mice wherein this lineage of cells was selectively labelled or ablated. Our data show that TRPV1 is an embryonic marker of many nociceptors including all TRPV1- and TRPM8-neurons as well as many Mrg-expressing neurons. Mutant mice lacking these cells are completely insensitive to hot or cold but in marked contrast retain normal touch and mechanical pain sensation. These animals also exhibit defective body temperature control and lose both itch and pain reactions to potent chemical mediators. Together with previous cell ablation studies, our results define and delimit the roles of TRPV1- and TRPM8-neurons in thermosensation, thermoregulation and nociception, thus significantly extending the concept of labelled lines in somatosensory coding.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of anesthetics and analgesics on ion channels have been the subject of intense research since recent reports of direct actions of anesthetic molecules on ion channel proteins. It is now known that ligand-gated channels, particularly γ-amino-butyric acid (GABAA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, play a key role in mediating anesthetic actions, but these channels are unable to account for all aspects of clinical anesthesia such as loss of consciousness, immobility, analgesia, amnesia, and muscle relaxation. Furthermore, an assortment of voltage-gated and background channels also display anesthetic sensitivity and a key question arises: What role do these other channels play in clinical anesthesia? These channels have overlapping physiological roles and pharmacological profiles, making it difficult to assign aspects of the anesthetic state to individual channel types. Here, we will focus on the function of neuronal voltage-gated calcium channels in mediating the effects of general anesthetics.
Preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Channels (Austin, Tex.)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nitrous oxide (N2O, laughing gas) has been used as an anaesthetic and analgesic for almost two centuries, but its cellular targets remain unclear. Here, we present a molecular mechanism of nitrous oxide's selective inhibition of CaV3.2 low-voltage-activated (T-type) calcium channels in pain pathways. Using site-directed mutagenesis and metal chelators such as diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid and deferoxamine, we reveal that a unique histidine at position 191 of CaV3.2 participates in a critical metal binding site, which may in turn interact with N2O to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). These free radicals are then likely to oxidize H191 of CaV3.2 in a localized metal-catalysed oxidation reaction. Evidence of hydrogen peroxide and free radical intermediates is given in that N2O inhibition of CaV3.2 channels is attenuated when H2O2 is neutralized by catalase. We also use the adrenochrome test as an indicator of ROS in vitro in the presence of N2O and iron. Ensuing in vivo studies indicate that mice lacking CaV3.2 channels display decreased analgesia to N2O in response to formalin-induced inflammatory pain. Furthermore, a superoxide dismutase and catalase mimetic, EUK-134, diminished pain responses to formalin in wild-type mice, but EUK-134 and N2O analgesia were not additive. This suggests that reduced ROS levels led to decreased inflammation, but without the presence of ROS, N2O was not able to provide additional analgesia. These findings reveal a novel mechanism of interaction between N2O and ion channels, furthering our understanding of this widely used analgesic in pain processing.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · The Journal of Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies indicate that T-type calcium channels (T-channels) in the thalamus are cellular targets for general anesthetics. Here, we recorded T-currents and underlying low-threshold calcium spikes from neurons of nucleus reticularis thalami (nRT) in brain slices from young rats and investigated the mechanisms of their modulation by an anesthetic alcohol, 1-octanol. We found that 1-octanol inhibited native T-currents at subanesthetic concentrations with an IC(50) of approximately 4 muM. In contrast, 1-octanol was up to 30-fold less potent in inhibiting recombinant Ca(V)3.3 T-channels heterologously expressed in human embryonic kidney cells. Inhibition of both native and recombinant T-currents was accompanied by a hyperpolarizing shift in steady-state inactivation, indicating that 1-octanol stabilized inactive states of the channel. To explore the mechanisms underlying higher 1-octanol potency in inhibiting native nRT T-currents, we tested the effect of the protein kinase C (PKC) activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and PKC inhibitors. We found that PMA caused a modest increase of T-current, whereas the inactive PMA analog 4alpha-PMA failed to affect T-current in nRT neurons. In contrast, 12-(2-cyanoethyl)-6,7,12,13-tetrahydro-13-methyl-5-oxo-5H-indolo(2,3-a)pyrrolo(3,4-c)-carbazole (Go 6976), an inhibitor of calcium-dependent PKC, decreased baseline T-current amplitude in nRT cells and abolished the effects of subsequently applied 1-octanol. The effects of 1-octanol were also abolished by chelation of intracellular calcium ions with 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid. Taken together, these results suggest that inhibition of calcium-dependent PKC signaling is a possible molecular substrate for modulation of T-channels in nRT neurons by 1-octanol.
Preview · Article · Oct 2009 · Molecular pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Earlier, we showed that streptozocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetes in rats leads to the development of painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy (PDN) manifested as thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia accompanied by significant enhancement of T-type calcium currents (T-currents) and cellular excitability in medium-sized dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Here, we studied the in vivo and in vitro effects of gene-silencing therapy specific for the Ca(V)3.2 isoform of T-channels, on thermal and mechanical hypersensitivities, and T-current expression in small- and medium-sized DRG neurons of STZ-treated rats. We found that silencing of the T-channel Ca(V)3.2 isoform using antisense oligonucleotides, had a profound and selective anti-hyperalgesic effect in diabetic rats and is accompanied by significant down-regulation of T-currents in DRG neurons. Anti-hyperalgesic effects of Ca(V)3.2 antisense oligonucleotides in diabetic rats were similar in models of rapid and slow onset of hyperglycemia following intravenous and intraperitoneal injections of STZ, respectively. Furthermore, treatments of diabetic rats with daily insulin injections reversed T-current alterations in DRG neurons in parallel with reversal of thermal and mechanical hypersensitivities in vivo. This confirms that Ca(V)3.2 T-channels, important signal amplifiers in peripheral sensory neurons, may contribute to the cellular hyperexcitability that ultimately leads to the development of painful PDN.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alpha-lipoic acid (1,2-dithiolane-3-pentanoic acid; lipoic acid) is an endogenous compound used to treat pain disorders in humans, but its mechanisms of analgesic action are not well understood. Here, we show that lipoic acid selectively inhibited native Ca(V)3.2 T-type calcium currents (T-currents) and diminished T-channel-dependent cellular excitability in acutely isolated rat sensory neurons. Lipoic acid locally injected into peripheral receptive fields of pain-sensing sensory neurons (nociceptors) in vivo decreased sensitivity to noxious thermal and mechanical stimuli in wild-type but not Ca(V)3.2 knock-out mice. Ensuing molecular studies demonstrated that lipoic acid inhibited recombinant Ca(V)3.2 channels heterologously expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells by oxidating specific thiol residues on the cytoplasmic face of the channel. This study provides the first mechanistic demonstration of a nociceptive ion channel modulation that may contribute to the documented analgesic properties of lipoic acid in vivo.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2009 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous data have indicated that T-type calcium channels (low-voltage activated T-channels) are potently inhibited by volatile anesthetics. Although the interactions of T-channels with a number of anesthetics have been described, the mechanisms by which these agents modulate channel activity, and the functional consequences of such interactions, are not well studied. Here, we used patch-clamp recordings to explore the actions of a prototypical volatile anesthetic, isoflurane (Iso), on recombinant human Ca(V)3.1 and Ca(V)3.2 isoforms of T-channels. We also performed behavioral testing of anesthetic endpoints in mice lacking Ca(V)3.2. Iso applied at resting channel states blocked current through both isoforms in a similar manner at clinically relevant concentrations (1 minimum alveolar concentration, MAC). Inhibition was more prominent at depolarized membrane potentials (-65 versus -100 mV) as evidenced by hyperpolarizing shifts in channel availability curves and a 2.5-fold decrease in IC(50) values. Iso slowed recovery from inactivation and enhanced deactivation in both Ca(V)3.1 and Ca(V)3.2 in a comparable manner but caused a depolarizing shift in activation curves and greater use-dependent block of Ca(V)3.2 channels. In behavioral tests, Ca(V)3.2 knockout (KO) mice showed significantly decreased MAC in comparison with wild-type (WT) litter mates. KO and WT mice did not differ in loss of righting reflex, but mutant mice displayed a delayed onset of anesthetic induction. We conclude that state-dependent inhibition of T-channel isoforms in the central and peripheral nervous systems may contribute to isoflurane's important clinical effects.
Preview · Article · Dec 2008 · Molecular pharmacology