Kv4.3 channel dysfunction contributes to trigeminal neuropathic pain manifested with orofacial cold hypersensitivity in rats

Academic Article


  • Trigeminal neuropathic pain is the most debilitating pain disorder but current treatments including opiates are not effective. A common symptom of trigeminal neuropathic pain is cold allodynia/hyperalgesia or cold hypersensitivity in orofacial area, a region where exposure to cooling temperatures are inevitable in daily life. Mechanisms underlying trigeminal neuropathic pain manifested with cold hypersensitivity are not fully understood. In this study, we investigated trigeminal neuropathic pain in male rats following infraorbital nerve chronic constrictive injury (ION-CCI). Assessed by the orofacial operant behavioral test, ION-CCI animals displayed orofacial cold hypersensitivity. The cold hypersensitivity was associated with the hyperexcitability of small-sized trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons that innervated orofacial regions. Furthermore, ION-CCI resulted in a reduction of A-type voltage-gated K1 currents (IA currents) in these TG neurons. We further showed that these smallsized TG neurons expressed Kv4.3 voltage-gated K1 channels, and Kv4.3 expression in these cells was significantly downregulated following ION-CCI. Pharmacological inhibition of Kv4.3 channels with phrixotoxin-2 inhibited IA-currents in these TG neurons and induced orofacial cold hypersensitivity. On the other hand, pharmacological potentiation of Kv4.3 channels amplified IA currents in these TG neurons and alleviated orofacial cold hypersensitivity in ION-CCI rats. Collectively, Kv4.3 downregulation in nociceptive trigeminal afferent fibers may contribute to peripheral cold hypersensitivity following trigeminal nerve injury, and Kv4.3 activators may be clinically useful to alleviate trigeminal neuropathic pain.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kanda H; Ling J; Chang YT; Erol F; Viatchenko-Karpinski V; Yamada A; Noguchi K; Gu JG
  • Start Page

  • 2091
  • End Page

  • 2105
  • Volume

  • 41
  • Issue

  • 10