Cell-specific alterations of T-type calcium current in painful diabetic neuropathy enhance excitability of sensory neurons.
ABSTRACT: Recent data indicate that T-type Ca2+ channels are amplifiers of peripheral pain signals, but their involvement in disorders of sensory neurons such as those associated with diabetes is poorly understood. To address this issue, we used a combination of behavioral, immunohistological, molecular, and electrophysiological studies in rats with streptozotocin (N-[methylnitrosocarbamoil]-D-glucosamine)-induced early diabetic neuropathy. We found that, in parallel with the development of diabetes-induced pain, T-type current density increased by twofold in medium-size cells from L4-L5 dorsal root ganglia (DRG) with a depolarizing shift in steady-state inactivation. This not only correlated closely with more prominent afterdepolarizing potentials (ADPs) but also increased cellular excitability manifested as a lower threshold for burst firing in diabetic than in control cells. T-type currents and ADPs were potently inhibited by nickel and enhanced by L-cysteine, suggesting that the Ca(V)3.2 T-type channel isoform was upregulated. Both control and diabetic DRG cells with ADPs stained positively for isolectin B4, but only diabetic cells responded robustly to capsaicin, suggesting enhanced nociceptive function. Because increased excitability of sensory neurons may result in such pathological perceptions of pain as hyperalgesia and allodynia, upregulation of T-type Ca2+ currents and enhanced Ca2+ entry into these cells could contribute to the development of symptoms in diabetic neuropathy.
Project description:Abnormal hyperexcitability of primary sensory neurons plays an important role in neuropathic pain. Voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels regulate neuronal excitability by affecting the resting membrane potential and influencing the repolarization and frequency of the action potential. In this study, we determined changes in Kv channels in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons in a rat model of diabetic neuropathic pain. The densities of total Kv, A-type (IA) and sustained delayed (IK) currents were markedly reduced in medium- and large-, but not in small-, diameter DRG neurons in diabetic rats. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that the mRNA levels of IA subunits, including Kv1.4, Kv3.4, Kv4.2, and Kv4.3, in the DRG were reduced approximately 50% in diabetic rats compared with those in control rats. However, there were no significant differences in the mRNA levels of IK subunits (Kv1.1, Kv1.2, Kv2.1, and Kv2.2) in the DRG between the two groups. Incubation with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) caused a large reduction in Kv currents, especially IA currents, in medium and large DRG neurons from control rats. Furthermore, the reductions in Kv currents and mRNA levels of IA subunits in diabetic rats were normalized by pre-treatment with anti-BDNF antibody or K252a, a TrkB tyrosine kinase inhibitor. In addition, the number of medium and large DRG neurons with BDNF immunoreactivity was greater in diabetic than control rats. Collectively, our findings suggest that diabetes primarily reduces Kv channel activity in medium and large DRG neurons. Increased BDNF activity in these neurons likely contributes to the reduction in Kv channel function through TrkB receptor stimulation in painful diabetic neuropathy.
Project description:Painful neuropathy is one of the most serious complications of diabetes and remains difficult to treat. The muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) agonists have a profound analgesic effect on painful diabetic neuropathy. Here we determined changes in T-type and high voltage-activated Ca(2+) channels (HVACCs) and their regulation by mAChRs in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons in a rat model of diabetic neuropathy. The HVACC currents in large neurons, T-type currents in medium and large neurons, the percentage of small DRG neurons with T-type currents, and the Cav3.2 mRNA level were significantly increased in diabetic rats compared with those in control rats. The mAChR agonist oxotremorine-M significantly inhibited HVACCs in a greater proportion of DRG neurons with and without T-type currents in diabetic than in control rats. In contrast, oxotremorine-M had no effect on HVACCs in small and large neurons with T-type currents and in most medium neurons with T-type currents from control rats. The M(2) and M(4) antagonist himbacine abolished the effect of oxotremorine-M on HVACCs in both groups. The selective M(4) antagonist muscarinic toxin-3 caused a greater attenuation of the effect of oxotremorine-M on HVACCs in small and medium DRG neurons in diabetic than in control rats. Additionally, the mRNA and protein levels of M(4), but not M(2), in the DRG were significantly greater in diabetic than in control rats. Our findings suggest that diabetic neuropathy potentiates the activity of T-type and HVACCs in primary sensory neurons. M(4) mAChRs are up-regulated in DRG neurons and probably account for increased muscarinic analgesic effects in diabetic neuropathic pain.
Project description:Many potential causes for painful diabetic neuropathy have been proposed including actions of cytokines and growth factors. High mobility group protein B1 (HMGB1) is a RAGE (also known as AGER) agonist whose levels are increased in diabetes and that contributes to pain by modulating peripheral inflammatory responses. HMGB1 enhances nociceptive behaviour in naïve animals through an unknown mechanism. We tested the hypothesis that HMGB1 causes pain through direct neuronal activation of RAGE and alteration of nociceptive neuronal responsiveness. HMGB1 and RAGE expression were increased in skin and primary sensory (dorsal root ganglion, DRG) neurons of diabetic rats at times when pain behaviour was enhanced. Agonist-evoked TRPV1-mediated Ca2+ responses increased in cultured DRG neurons from diabetic rats and in neurons from naïve rats exposed to high glucose concentrations. HMGB1-mediated increases in TRPV1-evoked Ca2+ responses in DRG neurons were RAGE- and PKC-dependent, and this was blocked by co-administration of the growth factor splice variant VEGF-A165b. Pain behaviour and the DRG RAGE expression increases were blocked by VEGF-A165b treatment of diabetic rats in vivo Hence, we conclude that HMGB1-RAGE activation sensitises DRG neurons in vitro, and that VEGF-A165b blocks HMGB-1-RAGE DRG activation, which may contribute to its analgesic properties in vivo.
Project description:Painful neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes. Previous studies have identified significant increases in the amount of voltage gated sodium channel isoforms Na(V)1.7 and Na(V)1.3 protein in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of rats with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. We found that gene transfer-mediated release of the inhibitory neurotransmitters enkephalin or gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) from DRG neurons in diabetic animals reduced pain-related behaviors coincident with a reduction in Na(V)1.7 protein levels in DRG in vivo. To further evaluate the role of Na(V)? subunit levels in DRG in the pathogenesis of pain in diabetic neuropathy, we constructed a non-replicating herpes simplex virus (HSV)-based vector expressing a microRNA (miRNA) against Na(V)? subunits.Subcutaneous inoculation of the miRNA-expressing HSV vector into the feet of diabetic rats to transduce DRG resulted in a reduction in Na(V)? subunit levels in DRG neurons, coincident with a reduction in cold allodynia, thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical hyperalgesia.These data support the role of increased Na(V)? protein in DRG in the pathogenesis of pain in diabetic neuropathy, and provide a proof-of-principle demonstration for the development of a novel therapy that could be used to treat intractable pain in patients with diabetic neuropathy.
Project description:The mechanisms of diabetic painful neuropathy are complicated and comprise of peripheral and central pathophysiological phenomena. A number of proinflammatory cytokines are involved in this process. Tumor necrosis factor ? (TNF-?) is considered to be one of the major contributors of neuropathic pain. In order to explore the potential role of inflammation in the peripheral nervous system of Type 1 diabetic animals with painful neuropathy, we investigated whether TNF-? is a key inflammatory mediator to the diabetic neuropathic pain and whether continuous delivery of TNF? soluble receptor from damaged axons achieved by HSV vector mediated transduction of DRG would block or alter the pain perception in animals with diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic animals exhibited changes in threshold of mechanical and thermal pain perception compared to control rats and also demonstrated increases in TNF? in the DRG, spinal cord dorsal horn, sciatic nerve and in the foot skin, 6 weeks after the onset of diabetes. Therapeutic approaches by HSV mediated expression of p55 TNF soluble receptor significantly attenuated the diabetes-induced hyperalgesia and decreased the expression of TNF? with reduction in the phosphorylation of p38MAPK in the spinal cord dorsal horn and DRG. The overall outcome of this study suggests that neuroinflammatory activation in the peripheral nervous system may be involved in the pathogenesis of painful neuropathy in Type 1 diabetes which can be alleviated by local expression of HSV vector expressing p55 TNF soluble receptor.
Project description:Ca2+-activated ion channels shape membrane excitability in response to elevations in intracellular Ca2+. The most extensively studied Ca2+-sensitive ion channels are Ca2+-activated K+ channels, whereas the physiological importance of Ca2+-activated Cl- channels has been poorly studied. Here we show that a Ca2+-activated Cl- currents (CaCCs) modulate repetitive firing in mouse sympathetic ganglion cells. Electrophysiological recording of mouse sympathetic neurons in an in vitro preparation of the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) identifies neurons with two different firing patterns in response to long depolarizing current pulses (1 s). Neurons classified as phasic (Ph) made up 67% of the cell population whilst the remainders were tonic (T). When a high frequency train of spikes was induced by intracellular current injection, SCG sympathetic neurons reached an afterpotential mainly dependent on the ratio of activation of two Ca2+-dependent currents: the K+ [IK(Ca)] and CaCC. When the IK(Ca) was larger, an afterhyperpolarization was the predominant afterpotential but when the CaCC was larger, an afterdepolarization (ADP) was predominant. These afterpotentials can be observed after a single action potential (AP). Ph and T neurons had similar ADPs and hence, the CaCC does not seem to determine the firing pattern (Ph or T) of these neurons. However, inhibition of Ca2+-activated Cl- channels with anthracene-9'-carboxylic acid (9AC) selectively inhibits the ADP, reducing the firing frequency and the instantaneous frequency without affecting the characteristics of single- or first-spike firing of both Ph and T neurons. Furthermore, we found that the CaCC underlying the ADP was significantly larger in SCG neurons from males than from females. Furthermore, the CaCC ANO1/TMEM16A was more strongly expressed in male than in female SCGs. Blocking ADPs with 9AC did not modify synaptic transmission in either Ph or T neurons. We conclude that the CaCC responsible for ADPs increases repetitive firing in both Ph and T neurons, and it is more relevant in male mouse sympathetic ganglion neurons.
Project description:Store-operated calcium channels (SOCs) are highly calcium-selective channels that mediate calcium entry in various cell types. We have previously reported that intraplantar injection of YM-58483 (a SOC inhibitor) attenuates chronic pain. A previous study has reported that the function of SOCs in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) is enhanced after nerve injury, suggesting that SOCs may play a peripheral role in chronic pain. However, the expression, functional distribution and significance of the SOC family in DRG neurons remain elusive and the key components that mediate SOC entry (SOCE) are still controversial. Here, we demonstrated that the SOC family (STIM1, STIM2, Orai1, Orai2, and Orai3) was expressed in DRGs and STIM1 was mainly present in small- and medium-sized DRG neurons. Using confocal live cell imaging, Ca2+ imaging and electrophysiology techniques, we demonstrated that depletion of the endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ stores induced STIM1 and STIM2 translocation, and that inhibition of STIM1 or blockage of Orai channels with pharmacological tools attenuated SOCE and SOC currents. Using the small inhibitory RNA knockdown approach, we identified STIM1, STIM2, Orai1, and Orai3 as the key components of SOCs mediating SOCE in DRG neurons. Importantly, activation of SOCs by thapsigargin induced plasma membrane depolarization and increased neuronal excitability, which were completely abolished by inhibition of SOCs or double knockdown of Orai1 and Orai3. Our findings suggest that SOCs exert an excitatory action in DRG neurons and provide a potential peripheral mechanism for modulation of pain hypersensitivity by SOC inhibition.
Project description:Neuropathic pain in patients carrying sodium channel gain-of-function mutations is generally refractory to pharmacotherapy. However, we have shown that pretreatment of cells with clinically achievable concentration of carbamazepine (CBZ; 30 ?M) depolarizes the voltage dependence of activation in some NaV1.7 mutations such as S241T, a novel CBZ mode of action of this drug. CBZ reduces the excitability of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons expressing NaV1.7-S241T mutant channels, and individuals carrying the S241T mutation respond to treatment with CBZ. Whether the novel activation-modulating activity of CBZ is specific to NaV1.7, and whether this pharmacogenomic approach can be extended to other sodium channel subtypes, are not known. We report here the novel NaV1.8-S242T mutation, which corresponds to the NaV1.7-S241T mutation, in a patient with neuropathic pain and diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Voltage-clamp recordings demonstrated hyperpolarized and accelerated activation of NaV1.8-S242T. Current-clamp recordings showed that NaV1.8-S242T channels render DRG neurons hyperexcitable. Structural modeling shows that despite a substantial difference in the primary amino acid sequence of NaV1.7 and NaV1.8, the S242 (NaV1.8) and S241 (NaV1.7) residues have similar position and orientation in the domain I S4-S5 linker of the channel. Pretreatment with a clinically achievable concentration of CBZ corrected the voltage dependence of activation of NaV1.8-S242T channels and reduced DRG neuron excitability as predicted from our pharmacogenomic model. These findings extend the novel activation modulation mode of action of CBZ to a second sodium channel subtype, NaV1.8.
Project description:Painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) is an intractable complication of diabetes that affects 25% of patients. PDN is characterized by neuropathic pain and small-fiber degeneration, accompanied by dorsal root ganglion (DRG) nociceptor hyperexcitability and loss of their axons within the skin. The molecular mechanisms underlying DRG nociceptor hyperexcitability and small-fiber degeneration in PDN are unknown. We hypothesize that chemokine CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling is central to this mechanism, as we have shown that CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling is necessary for the development of mechanical allodynia, a pain hypersensitivity behavior common in PDN. Focusing on DRG neurons expressing the sodium channel Nav1.8, we applied transgenic, electrophysiological, imaging, and chemogenetic techniques to test this hypothesis. In the high-fat diet mouse model of PDN, we were able to prevent and reverse mechanical allodynia and small-fiber degeneration by limiting CXCR4 signaling or neuronal excitability. This study reveals that excitatory CXCR4/CXCL12 signaling in Nav1.8-positive DRG neurons plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of mechanical allodynia and small-fiber degeneration in a mouse model of PDN. Hence, we propose that targeting CXCR4-mediated DRG nociceptor hyperexcitability is a promising therapeutic approach for disease-modifying treatments for this currently intractable and widespread affliction.
Project description:High-frequency spontaneous firing in myelinated sensory neurons plays a key role in initiating pain behaviors in several different models, including the radicular pain model in which the rat lumbar dorsal root ganglia (DRG) are locally inflamed. The sodium channel isoform NaV1.6 contributes to pain behaviors and spontaneous activity in this model. Among all isoforms in adult DRG, NaV1.6 is the main carrier of tetrodotoxin-sensitive resurgent Na currents that allow high-frequency firing. Resurgent currents flow after a depolarization or action potential, as a blocking particle exits the pore. In most neurons, the regulatory ?4 subunit is potentially the endogenous blocker. We used in vivo siRNA-mediated knockdown of NaV?4 to examine its role in the DRG inflammation model. NaV?4 but not control siRNA almost completely blocked mechanical hypersensitivity induced by DRG inflammation. Microelectrode recordings in isolated whole DRG showed that NaV?4 siRNA blocked the inflammation-induced increase in spontaneous activity of A? neurons and reduced repetitive firing and other measures of excitability. NaV?4 was preferentially expressed in larger diameter cells; DRG inflammation increased its expression, and this was reversed by NaV?4 siRNA, based on immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. NaV?4 siRNA also reduced immunohistochemical NaV1.6 expression. Patch-clamp recordings of tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na currents in acutely cultured medium diameter DRG neurons showed that DRG inflammation increased transient and especially resurgent current, effects blocked by NaV?4 siRNA. NaV?4 may represent a more specific target for pain conditions that depend on myelinated neurons expressing NaV1.6.