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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jan 2022 - 21 Jan 2022

2022 Jan 18

Pflugers Arch

Voltage-dependent Ca3.2 and Ca2.2 channels in nociceptive pathways.


Hoppanova L, Lacinova L
Pflugers Arch. 2022 Jan 18.
PMID: 35043234.


Noxious stimuli like cold, heat, pH change, tissue damage, and inflammation depolarize a membrane of peripheral endings of specialized nociceptive neurons which eventually results in the generation of an action potential. The electrical signal is carried along a long axon of nociceptive neurons from peripheral organs to soma located in dorsal root ganglions and further to the dorsal horn of the spinal cord where it is transmitted through a chemical synapse and is carried through the spinal thalamic tract into the brain. Two subtypes of voltage-activated calcium play a major role in signal transmission: a low voltage-activated Ca3.2 channel and a high voltage-activated Ca2.2 channel. The Ca3.2 channel contributes mainly to the signal conductance along nociceptive neurons while the principal role of the Ca2.2 channel is in the synaptic transmission at the dorsal horn. Both channels contribute to the signal initiation at peripheral nerve endings. This review summarizes current knowledge about the expression and distribution of these channels in a nociceptive pathway, the regulation of their expression and gating during pain pathology, and their suitability as targets for pharmacological therapy.