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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Mar 2019 - 15 Mar 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Jan-Dec

Mol Pain


Spinal glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor infusion reverses reduction of Kv4.1-mediated A-type potassium currents of injured myelinated primary afferent neurons in a neuropathic pain model.


High frequency spontaneous activity in injured primary afferents has been proposed as a pathological mechanism of neuropathic pain following nerve injury. Although spinal infusion of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) reduces the activity of injured myelinated A-fiber neurons after 5th lumbar (L5) spinal nerve ligation (SNL) in rats, the implicated molecular mechanism remains undetermined. The fast-inactivating transient A-type potassium current (IA) is an important determinant of neuronal excitability, and five voltage-gated potassium channel (Kv) alpha-subunits, Kv1.4, Kv3.4, Kv4.1, Kv4.2, and Kv4.3, display IA in heterologous expression systems. Here, we examined the effect of spinal GDNF infusion on IA and the expression of these five Kv mRNAs in injured A-fiber neurons using the in vitro patch clamp technique and in situ hybridization histochemistry. GDNF infusion reversed axotomy-induced reduction of the rheobase, elongation of first spike duration, and depolarization of the resting membrane potential. L5 SNL significantly reduced the current density of IA and GDNF treatment reversed the reduction. Among the examined Kv mRNAs, only the change in Kv4.1-expression was parallel with the change in IA after SNL and GDNF treatment. These findings suggest that GDNF should reduce the hyperexcitability of injured A-fiber primary afferents by IA recurrence. Among the five IA-related Kv channels, Kv4.1 should be a key channel, which account for this IA recurrence.