I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Apr 2023 - 14 Apr 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Neuropathic Pain


Front Mol Neurosci



Voltage-gated calcium channel subunit αδ-1 in spinal dorsal horn neurons contributes to aberrant excitatory synaptic transmission and mechanical hypersensitivity after peripheral nerve injury.


Koga K, Kobayashi K, Tsuda M, Kubota K, Kitano Y, Furue H


Neuropathic pain, an intractable pain symptom that occurs after nerve damage, is caused by the aberrant excitability of spinal dorsal horn (SDH) neurons. Gabapentinoids, the most commonly used drugs for neuropathic pain, inhibit spinal calcium-mediated neurotransmitter release by binding to αδ-1, a subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels, and alleviate neuropathic pain. However, the exact contribution of αδ-1 expressed in SDH neurons to the altered synaptic transmission and mechanical hypersensitivity following nerve injury is not fully understood. In this study, we investigated which types of SDH neurons express αδ-1 and how αδ-1 in SDH neurons contributes to the mechanical hypersensitivity and altered spinal synaptic transmission after nerve injury. Using hybridization technique, we found that mRNA coding αδ-1, was mainly colocalized with , an excitatory neuronal marker, but not with , an inhibitory neuronal marker in the SDH. To investigate the role of αδ-1 in SDH neurons, we used clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 system and showed that SDH neuron-specific ablation of alleviated mechanical hypersensitivity following nerve injury. We further found that excitatory post-synaptic responses evoked by electrical stimulation applied to the SDH were significantly enhanced after nerve injury, and that these enhanced responses were significantly decreased by application of mirogabalin, a potent αδ-1 inhibitor, and by SDH neuron-specific ablation of . These results suggest that αδ-1 expressed in SDH excitatory neurons facilitates spinal nociceptive synaptic transmission and contributes to the development of mechanical hypersensitivity after nerve injury.