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Na+ Channel Scn1b Gene Regulates Dorsal Root Ganglion Nociceptor Excitability in Vivo*

By Luis F. Lopez-Santiago, William J. Brackenbury, Chunling Chen and Lori L. Isom


Nociceptive dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons express tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) and -resistant (TTX-R) Na+ current (INa) mediated by voltage-gated Na+ channels (VGSCs). In nociceptive DRG neurons, VGSC β2 subunits, encoded by Scn2b, selectively regulate TTX-S α subunit mRNA and protein expression, ultimately resulting in changes in pain sensitivity. We hypothesized that VGSCs in nociceptive DRG neurons may also be regulated by β1 subunits, encoded by Scn1b. Scn1b null mice are models of Dravet Syndrome, a severe pediatric encephalopathy. Many physiological effects of Scn1b deletion on CNS neurons have been described. In contrast, little is known about the role of Scn1b in peripheral neurons in vivo. Here we demonstrate that Scn1b null DRG neurons exhibit a depolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of TTX-S INa inactivation, reduced persistent TTX-R INa, a prolonged rate of recovery of TTX-R INa from inactivation, and reduced cell surface expression of Nav1.9 compared with their WT littermates. Investigation of action potential firing shows that Scn1b null DRG neurons are hyperexcitable compared with WT. Consistent with this, transient outward K+ current (Ito) is significantly reduced in null DRG neurons. We conclude that Scn1b regulates the electrical excitability of nociceptive DRG neurons in vivo by modulating both INa and IK

Topics: Neurobiology
Publisher: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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