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Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 May 2019 - 10 May 2019

Animal Studies

2019 May 07

Int J Mol Sci



Modulation of SUR1 K Channel Subunit Activity in the Peripheral Nervous System Reduces Mechanical Hyperalgesia after Nerve Injury in Mice.


Luu W, Bjork J, Salo E, Entenmann N, Jurgenson T, Fisher C, Klein AH
Int J Mol Sci. 2019 May 07; 20(9).
PMID: 31067750.


The ATP-sensitive K channel (K) is involved in hypersensitivity during chronic pain and is presumed to be a downstream target of mu opioid receptors. Multiple subtypes of K channels exist in the peripheral and central nervous system and their activity may be inversely correlated to chronic pain phenotypes in rodents. In this study, we investigated the different K channel subunits that could be involved in neuropathic pain in mice. In chronic pain models utilizing spinal nerve ligation, SUR1 and Kir6.2 subunits were found to be significantly downregulated in dorsal root ganglia and the spinal cord. Local or intrathecal administration of SUR1-K channel subtype agonists resulted in analgesia after spinal nerve ligation but not SUR2 agonists. In ex-vivo nerve recordings, administration of the SUR1 agonist diazoxide to peripheral nerve terminals decreased mechanically evoked potentials. Genetic knockdown of SUR1 through an associated adenoviral strategy resulted in mechanical hyperalgesia but not thermal hyperalgesia compared to control mice. Behavioral data from neuropathic mice indicate that local reductions in SUR1-subtype K channel activity can exacerbate neuropathic pain symptoms. Since neuropathic pain is of major clinical relevance, potassium channels present a target for analgesic therapies, especially since they are expressed in nociceptors and could play an essential role in regulating the excitability of neurons involved in pain-transmission.