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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 Jun 2020 - 19 Jun 2020

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Jun 10


A modulator of the low-voltage activated T-type calcium channel that reverses HIV glycoprotein 120-, paclitaxel-, and spinal nerve ligation-induced peripheral neuropathies.


Cai S, Tuohy P, Ma C, Kitamura N, Gomez K, Zhou Y, Ran D, Bellampalli S S, Yu J, Luo S, Dorame A, Pham N Y N, Molnar G, Streicher JM, Patek M, Perez-Miller S, Moutal A, Wang J, Khanna R
Pain. 2020 Jun 10.
PMID: 32541387.


The voltage-gated calcium channels CaV3.1-3.3 constitute the T-type subfamily, whose dysfunctions are associated with epilepsy, psychiatric disorders, and chronic pain. The unique properties of low voltage-activation, faster inactivation, and slower deactivation of these channels support their role in modulation of cellular excitability and low-threshold firing. Thus, selective T-type calcium channel antagonists are highly sought after. Here, we explored Ugi-azide multicomponent reaction (MCR) products to identify compounds targeting T-type calcium channel. Of the 46 compounds tested, an analog of benzimidazolonepiperidine – 5bk (1-{1-[(R)-{1-[(1S)-1-phenylethyl]-1H-1,2,3,4-tetrazol-5-yl}(thiophen-3-yl)methyl]piperidin-4-yl}-2,3-dihydro-1H-1,3-benzodiazol-2-one) modulated depolarization-induced calcium influx in rat sensory neurons. Modulation of T-type calcium channels by 5bk was further confirmed in whole-cell patch clamp assays in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, where pharmacological isolation of T-type currents led to a time- and concentration-dependent regulation with a low micromolar IC50. Lack of an acute effect of 5bk argues against a direct action on of T-type channels. Genetic knockdown revealed CaV3.2 to be the isoform preferentially modulated by 5bk. High voltage-gated calcium, as well as tetrodotoxin-sensitive and -resistant sodium, channels were unaffected by 5bk. 5bk inhibited spontaneous excitatory post synaptic currents and depolarization-evoked release of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from lumbar spinal cord slices. Notably, 5bk did not bind human mu, delta, or kappa opioid receptors. 5bk reversed mechanical allodynia in rat models of HIV-associated neuropathy, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), and spinal nerve ligation (SNL)-induced neuropathy, without effects on locomotion or anxiety. Thus, 5bk represents a novel T-type modulator that could be used to develop non-addictive pain therapeutics.