45 research outputs found

    Calmodulin Mediates Ca2+-dependent Modulation of M-type K+ Channels

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    To quantify the modulation of KCNQ2/3 current by [Ca2+]i and to test if calmodulin (CaM) mediates this action, simultaneous whole-cell recording and Ca2+ imaging was performed on CHO cells expressing KCNQ2/3 channels, either alone, or together with wild-type (wt) CaM, or dominant-negative (DN) CaM. We varied [Ca2+]i from <10 to >400 nM with ionomycin (5 μM) added to either a 2 mM Ca2+, or EGTA-buffered Ca2+-free, solution. Coexpression of wt CaM made KCNQ2/3 currents highly sensitive to [Ca2+]i (IC50 70 ± 20 nM, max inhibition 73%, n = 10). However, coexpression of DN CaM rendered KCNQ2/3 currents largely [Ca2+]i insensitive (max inhibition 8 ± 3%, n = 10). In cells without cotransfected CaM, the Ca2+ sensitivity was variable but generally weak. [Ca2+]i modulation of M current in superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons followed the same pattern as in CHO cells expressed with KCNQ2/3 and wt CaM, suggesting that endogenous M current is also highly sensitive to [Ca2+]i. Coimmunoprecipitations showed binding of CaM to KCNQ2–5 that was similar in the presence of 5 mM Ca2+ or 5 mM EGTA. Gel-shift analyses suggested Ca2+-dependent CaM binding to an “IQ-like” motif present in the carboxy terminus of KCNQ2–5. We tested whether bradykinin modulation of M current in SCG neurons uses CaM. Wt or DN CaM was exogenously expressed in SCG cells using pseudovirions or the biolistic “gene gun.” Using both methods, expression of both wt CaM and DN CaM strongly reduced bradykinin inhibition of M current, but for all groups muscarinic inhibition was unaffected. Cells expressed with wt CaM had strongly reduced tonic current amplitudes as well. We observed similar [Ca2+]i rises by bradykinin in all the groups of cells, indicating that CaM did not affect Ca2+ release from stores. We conclude that M-type currents are highly sensitive to [Ca2+]i and that calmodulin acts as their Ca2+ sensor

    Neuropathic Injury-Induced Plasticity of GABAergic System in Peripheral Sensory Ganglia

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    GABA is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). Inhibitory GABAA channel circuits in the dorsal spinal cord are the gatekeepers of the nociceptive input from the periphery to the CNS. Weakening of these spinal inhibitory mechanisms is a hallmark of chronic pain. Yet, recent studies have suggested the existence of an earlier GABAergic “gate” within the peripheral sensory ganglia. In this study, we performed systematic investigation of plastic changes of the GABA-related proteins in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) in the process of neuropathic pain development. We found that chronic constriction injury (CCI) induced general downregulation of most GABAA channel subunits and the GABA-producing enzyme, glutamate decarboxylase, consistent with the weakening of the GABAergic inhibition at the periphery. Strikingly, the α5 GABAA subunit was consistently upregulated. Knock-down of the α5 subunit in vivo moderately alleviated neuropathic hyperalgesia. Our findings suggest that while the development of neuropathic pain is generally accompanied by weakening of the peripheral GABAergic system, the α5 GABAA subunit may have a unique pro-algesic role and, hence, might represent a new therapeutic target

    Spike propagation through the dorsal root ganglia in an unmyelinated sensory neuron: a modeling study

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    Unmyelinated C-fibers are a major type of sensory neurons conveying pain information. Action potential conduction is regulated by the bifurcation (T-junction) of sensory neuron axons within the dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Understanding how C-fiber signaling is influenced by the morphology of the T-junction and the local expression of ion channels is important for understanding pain signaling. In this study we used biophysical computer modeling to investigate the influence of axon morphology within the DRG and various membrane conductances on the reliability of spike propagation. As expected, calculated input impedance and the amplitude of propagating action potentials were both lowest at the T-junction. Propagation reliability for single spikes was highly sensitive to the diameter of the stem axon and the density of voltage-gated Na+ channels. A model containing only fast voltage-gated Na+ and delayed-rectifier K+ channels conducted trains of spikes up to frequencies of 110 Hz. The addition of slowly activating KCNQ channels (i.e., KV7 or M-channels) to the model reduced the following frequency to 30 Hz. Hyperpolarization produced by addition of a much slower conductance, such as a Ca²+-dependent K+ current, was needed to reduce the following frequency to 6 Hz. Attenuation of driving force due to ion accumulation or hyperpolarization produced by a Na+-K+ pump had no effect on following frequency but could influence the reliability of spike propagation mutually with the voltage shift generated by a Ca²+-dependent K+ current. These simulations suggest how specific ion channels within the DRG may contribute toward therapeutic treatments for chronic pain

    Volume-regulated Cl- current: contributions of distinct Cl- channel and localized Ca2+ signals.

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    The swelling-activated chloride current (ICl,swell) is induced when a cell swells and plays a central role in maintaining cell volume in response to osmotic stress. The major contributor of ICl,swell is the volume regulated anion channel (VRAC). LRRC8A (SWELL1) was recently identified as an essential component of VRAC but the mechanisms of VRAC activation are still largely unknown; moreover, other Cl- channels, such as anoctamin 1 (ANO1) were also suggested to contribute to ICl,swell. In this present study, we investigated the roles of LRRC8A and ANO1 in activation of ICl,swell; we also explored the role of intracellular Ca2+ in ICl,swell activation. We used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing approach, electrophysiology, live fluorescent imaging, selective pharmacology and other approaches to show that both LRRC8A and ANO1 can be activated by cell swelling in HEK293 cells. Yet, both channels contribute biophysically and pharmacologically distinct components to ICl,swell, with LRRC8A being the major component. Cell swelling induced oscillatory Ca2+ transients and these Ca2+ signals were required to activate both, the LRRC8A- and ANO1-dependent components of ICl,swell. Both ICl,swell components required localized rather than global Ca2+ for activation. Interestingly, while intracellular Ca2+ was necessary and sufficient to activate ANO1, it was necessary but not sufficient to activate LRRC8A-mediated currents. Finally, Ca2+ transients linked to the ICl,swell activation were mediated by the GPCR-independent PLC isoforms

    Kv7.4 Channel Contribute to Projection-Specific Auto-Inhibition of Dopamine Neurons in the Ventral Tegmental Area

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    Dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) encode behavioral patterns important in reward and drug addiction as well as in emotional disorders. These functions of dopamine neurons are directly related to the release of dopamine in the targeted regions of the brain which are, thus, controlled by the excitability of dopamine neurons. One mechanism for modulation of dopamine neuronal excitability is mediated by the auto dopamine type 2 (D2) receptors, through activation of a Kir3/GIRK K+ channel which inhibits the firing of dopamine neurons. In this study, we provide evidence that Kv7.4, in addition to Kir3.2 channels, contributes to dopamine (DA)-mediated auto-inhibition of DA activity projecting to NAc and to basolateral amygdale (BLA). Furthermore, we demonstrate that D2 receptors enhance Kv7.4 currents through Gi/o protein and redox-dependent cellular pathway. Finally, we show this D2 mediated auto-inhibition is blunted in a social defeat mice model of depression, a phenomenon that may contribute to the altered excitability of VTA DA neurons in depressed animals. These results provide a new perspective for understanding the molecular mechanism of the excitability of VTA DA neurons and for potential new strategies against mental disorders involving altered excitability of DA neurons, such as major depression and drug addictions

    Redox regulation of KV7 channels through EF3 hand of calmodulin

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    Neuronal KV7 channels, important regulators of cell excitability, are among the most sensitive proteins to reactive oxygen species. The S2S3 linker of the voltage sensor was reported as a site-mediating redox modulation of the channels. Recent structural insights reveal potential interactions between this linker and the Ca2+-binding loop of the third EF-hand of calmodulin (CaM), which embraces an antiparallel fork formed by the C-terminal helices A and B, constituting the calcium responsive domain (CRD). We found that precluding Ca2+ binding to the EF3 hand, but not to EF1, EF2, or EF4 hands, abolishes oxidation-induced enhancement of KV7.4 currents. Monitoring FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer) between helices A and B using purified CRDs tagged with fluorescent proteins, we observed that S2S3 peptides cause a reversal of the signal in the presence of Ca2+ but have no effect in the absence of this cation or if the peptide is oxidized. The capacity of loading EF3 with Ca2+ is essential for this reversal of the FRET signal, whereas the consequences of obliterating Ca2+ binding to EF1, EF2, or EF4 are negligible. Furthermore, we show that EF3 is critical for translating Ca2+ signals to reorient the AB fork. Our data are consistent with the proposal that oxidation of cysteine residues in the S2S3 loop relieves KV7 channels from a constitutive inhibition imposed by interactions between the EF3 hand of CaM which is crucial for this signaling.Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion PID2021-128286NB-100Wellcome Trust 212302/Z/18/ZMedical Research Centre MR/P015727/1Eusko Jaurlaritza IT1707-22 Ekonomiaren Garapen eta Lehiakortasun Saila, Eusko Jaurlaritza BG2019Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion RTI2018-097839-B-100Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion RTI2018-101269-B-I00Eusko Jaurlaritza IT1165-19 Ekonomiaren Garapen eta Lehiakortasun Saila,Eusko Jaurlaritza KK-2020/00110Eusko Jaurlaritza PRE_2018-2_0082Eusko Jaurlaritza POS_2021_1_0017Eusko Jaurlaritza PRE_2018-2_012

    Local GABAergic signaling within sensory ganglia controls peripheral nociceptive transmission

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    The integration of somatosensory information is generally assumed to be a function of the central nervous system (CNS). Here we describe fully functional GABAergic communication within rodent peripheral sensory ganglia and show that it can modulate transmission of pain-related signals from the peripheral sensory nerves to the CNS. We found that sensory neurons express major proteins necessary for GABA synthesis and release and that sensory neurons released GABA in response to depolarization. In vivo focal infusion of GABA or GABA reuptake inhibitor to sensory ganglia dramatically reduced acute peripherally induced nociception and alleviated neuropathic and inflammatory pain. In addition, focal application of GABA receptor antagonists to sensory ganglia triggered or exacerbated peripherally induced nociception. We also demonstrated that chemogenetic or optogenetic depolarization of GABAergic dorsal root ganglion neurons in vivo reduced acute and chronic peripherally induced nociception. Mechanistically, GABA depolarized the majority of sensory neuron somata, yet produced a net inhibitory effect on the nociceptive transmission due to the filtering effect at nociceptive fiber T-junctions. Our findings indicate that peripheral somatosensory ganglia represent a hitherto underappreciated site of somatosensory signal integration and offer a potential target for therapeutic intervention

    Inflammatory mediator bradykinin increases population of sensory neurons expressing functional T-type Ca2+ channels

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    T-type Ca2+ channels are important regulators of peripheral sensory neuron excitability. Accordingly, T-type Ca2+ currents are often increased in various pathological pain conditions, such as inflammation or nerve injury. Here we investigated effects of inflammation on functional expression of T-type Ca2+ channels in small-diameter cultured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. We found that overnight treatment of DRG cultures with a cocktail of inflammatory mediators bradykinin (BK), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), norepinephrine (NE) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) strongly increased the population size of the small-diameter neurons displaying low-voltage activated (LVA, T-type) Ca2+ currents while having no effect on the peak LVA current amplitude. When applied individually, BK and ATP also increased the population size of LVA-positive neurons while NE and PGE2 had no effect. The PLC inhibitor U-73122 and B2 receptor antagonist, Hoe-140, both abolished the increase of the population of LVA-positive DRG neurons. Inflammatory treatment did not affect CaV3.2 mRNA or protein levels in DRG cultures. Furthermore, an ubiquitination inhibitor, MG132, did not increase the population of LVA-positive neurons. Our data suggest that inflammatory mediators BK and ATP increase the abundance of LVA-positive DRG neurons in total neuronal population by stimulating the recruitment of a 'reserve pool' of CaV3.2 channels, particularly in neurons that do not display measurable LVA currents under control conditions

    Regulation of the T-type Ca²⁺ channel Cav3.2 by hydrogen sulfide: Emerging controversies concerning the role of H₂S in nociception

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    Ion channels represent a large and growing family of target proteins regulated by gasotransmitters such as nitric oxide, carbon monoxide and, as described more recently, hydrogen sulfide. Indeed, many of the biological actions of these gases can be accounted for by their ability to modulate ion channel activity. Here, we report recent evidence that H₂S is a modulator of low voltage-activated T-type Ca²⁺ channels, and discriminates between the different subtypes of T-type Ca²⁺ channel in that it selectively modulates Cav3.2, whilst Cav3.1 and Cav3.3 are unaffected. At high concentrations, H₂S augments Cav3.2 currents, an observation which has led to the suggestion that H₂S exerts its pro-nociceptive effects via this channel, since Cav3.2 plays a central role in sensory nerve excitability. However, at more physiological concentrations, H₂S is seen to inhibit Cav3.2. This inhibitory action requires the presence of the redox-sensitive, extracellular region of the channel which is responsible for tonic metal ion binding and which particularly distinguishes this channel isoform from Cav3.1 and 3.3. Further studies indicate that H₂S may act in a novel manner to alter channel activity by potentiating the zinc sensitivity/affinity of this binding site. This review discusses the different reports of H₂S modulation of T-type Ca²⁺ channels, and how such varying effects may impact on nociception given the role of this channel in sensory activity. This subject remains controversial, and future studies are required before the impact of T-type Ca²⁺ channel modulation by H₂S might be exploited as a novel approach to pain management

    Redox and nitric oxide-mediated regulation of sensory neuron ion channel function

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    Significance: Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS, respectively) can intimately control neuronal excitability and synaptic strength by regulating the function of many ion channels. In peripheral sensory neurons, such regulation contributes towards the control of somatosensory processing; therefore, understanding the mechanisms of such regulation is necessary for the development of new therapeutic strategies and for the treatment of sensory dysfunctions, such as chronic pain. Recent Advances: Tremendous progress in deciphering nitric oxide (NO) and ROS signaling in the nervous system has been made in recent decades. This includes the recognition of these molecules as important second messengers and the elucidation of their metabolic pathways and cellular targets. Mounting evidence suggests that these targets include many ion channels which can be directly or indirectly modulated by ROS and NO. However, the mechanisms specific to sensory neurons are still poorly understood. This review will therefore summarize recent findings that highlight the complex nature of the signaling pathways involved in redox/NO regulation of sensory neuron ion channels and excitability; references to redox mechanisms described in other neuron types will be made where necessary. Critical Issues: The complexity and interplay within the redox, NO, and other gasotransmitter modulation of protein function are still largely unresolved. Issues of specificity and intracellular localization of these signaling cascades will also be addressed. Future Directions: Since our understanding of ROS and RNS signaling in sensory neurons is limited, there is a multitude of future directions; one of the most important issues for further study is the establishment of the exact roles that these signaling pathways play in pain processing and the translation of this understanding into new therapeutics
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