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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 May 2020 - 22 May 2020

Animal Studies

2020 May 16

Bioengineering (Basel)



Conserved Expression of Nav1.7 and Nav1.8 Contribute to the Spontaneous and Thermally Evoked Excitability in IL-6 and NGF-Sensitized Adult Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons In Vitro.



Sensory neurons respond to noxious stimuli by relaying information from the periphery to the central nervous system via action potentials driven by voltage-gated sodium channels, specifically Nav1.7 and Nav1.8. These channels play a key role in the manifestation of inflammatory pain. The ability to screen compounds that modulate voltage-gated sodium channels using cell-based assays assumes that key channels present in vivo is maintained in vitro. Prior electrophysiological work in vitro utilized acutely dissociated tissues, however, maintaining this preparation for long periods is difficult. A potential alternative involves multi-electrode arrays which permit long-term measurements of neural spike activity and are well suited for assessing persistent sensitization consistent with chronic pain. Here, we demonstrate that the addition of two inflammatory mediators associated with chronic inflammatory pain, nerve growth factor (NGF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), to adult DRG neurons increases their firing rates on multi-electrode arrays in vitro. Nav1.7 and Nav1.8 proteins are readily detected in cultured neurons and contribute to evoked activity. The blockade of both Nav1.7 and Nav1.8, has a profound impact on thermally evoked firing after treatment with IL-6 and NGF. This work underscores the utility of multi-electrode arrays for pharmacological studies of sensory neurons and may facilitate the discovery and mechanistic analyses of anti-nociceptive compounds.