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Papers of the Week

Papers: 23 Nov 2019 - 29 Nov 2019

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2019 11 25



Editor's Pick

Novel charged sodium and calcium channel inhibitor active against neurogenic inflammation.


Lee S, Jo S, Talbot S, Zhang H-X B, Kotoda M, Andrews NA, Puopolo M, Liu PW, Jacquemont T, Pascal M, Heckman LM, Jain A, Lee J, Woolf CJ, Bean BP
Elife. 2019 11 25; 8.
PMID: 31765298.


Voltage-dependent sodium and calcium channels in pain-initiating nociceptor neurons are attractive targets for new analgesics. We made a permanently charged cationic derivative of an N-type calcium channel-inhibitor. Unlike cationic derivatives of local anesthetic sodium channel blockers like QX-314, this cationic compound inhibited N-type calcium channels more effectively with extracellular than intracellular application. Surprisingly, the compound is also a highly effective sodium channel inhibitor when applied extracellularly, producing more potent inhibition than lidocaine or bupivacaine. The charged inhibitor produced potent and long-lasting analgesia in mouse models of incisional wound and inflammatory pain, inhibited release of the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from dorsal root ganglion neurons, and reduced inflammation in a mouse model of allergic asthma, which has a strong neurogenic component. The results show that some cationic molecules applied extracellularly can powerfully inhibit both sodium channels and calcium channels, thereby blocking both nociceptor excitability and pro-inflammatory peptide release.