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      Sodium channels in normal and pathological pain.

      Annual review of neuroscience

      Disease Models, Animal, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, genetics, Humans, Nociceptors, metabolism, Pain, physiopathology, Sensory Receptor Cells, Sodium Channels, Animals

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          Abstract

          Nociception is essential for survival whereas pathological pain is maladaptive and often unresponsive to pharmacotherapy. Voltage-gated sodium channels, Na(v)1.1-Na(v)1.9, are essential for generation and conduction of electrical impulses in excitable cells. Human and animal studies have identified several channels as pivotal for signal transmission along the pain axis, including Na(v)1.3, Na(v)1.7, Na(v)1.8, and Na(v)1.9, with the latter three preferentially expressed in peripheral sensory neurons and Na(v)1.3 being upregulated along pain-signaling pathways after nervous system injuries. Na(v)1.7 is of special interest because it has been linked to a spectrum of inherited human pain disorders. Here we review the contribution of these sodium channel isoforms to pain.

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          Most cited references 140

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          Pharmacologic management of neuropathic pain: evidence-based recommendations.

          Patients with neuropathic pain (NP) are challenging to manage and evidence-based clinical recommendations for pharmacologic management are needed. Systematic literature reviews, randomized clinical trials, and existing guidelines were evaluated at a consensus meeting. Medications were considered for recommendation if their efficacy was supported by at least one methodologically-sound, randomized clinical trial (RCT) demonstrating superiority to placebo or a relevant comparison treatment. Recommendations were based on the amount and consistency of evidence, degree of efficacy, safety, and clinical experience of the authors. Available RCTs typically evaluated chronic NP of moderate to severe intensity. Recommended first-line treatments include certain antidepressants (i.e., tricyclic antidepressants and dual reuptake inhibitors of both serotonin and norepinephrine), calcium channel alpha2-delta ligands (i.e., gabapentin and pregabalin), and topical lidocaine. Opioid analgesics and tramadol are recommended as generally second-line treatments that can be considered for first-line use in select clinical circumstances. Other medications that would generally be used as third-line treatments but that could also be used as second-line treatments in some circumstances include certain antiepileptic and antidepressant medications, mexiletine, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists, and topical capsaicin. Medication selection should be individualized, considering side effects, potential beneficial or deleterious effects on comorbidities, and whether prompt onset of pain relief is necessary. To date, no medications have demonstrated efficacy in lumbosacral radiculopathy, which is probably the most common type of NP. Long-term studies, head-to-head comparisons between medications, studies involving combinations of medications, and RCTs examining treatment of central NP are lacking and should be a priority for future research.
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            The neuropathic pain triad: neurons, immune cells and glia.

            Nociceptive pain results from the detection of intense or noxious stimuli by specialized high-threshold sensory neurons (nociceptors), a transfer of action potentials to the spinal cord, and onward transmission of the warning signal to the brain. In contrast, clinical pain such as pain after nerve injury (neuropathic pain) is characterized by pain in the absence of a stimulus and reduced nociceptive thresholds so that normally innocuous stimuli produce pain. The development of neuropathic pain involves not only neuronal pathways, but also Schwann cells, satellite cells in the dorsal root ganglia, components of the peripheral immune system, spinal microglia and astrocytes. As we increasingly appreciate that neuropathic pain has many features of a neuroimmune disorder, immunosuppression and blockade of the reciprocal signaling pathways between neuronal and non-neuronal cells offer new opportunities for disease modification and more successful management of pain.
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              An SCN9A channelopathy causes congenital inability to experience pain.

              The complete inability to sense pain in an otherwise healthy individual is a very rare phenotype. In three consanguineous families from northern Pakistan, we mapped the condition as an autosomal-recessive trait to chromosome 2q24.3. This region contains the gene SCN9A, encoding the alpha-subunit of the voltage-gated sodium channel, Na(v)1.7, which is strongly expressed in nociceptive neurons. Sequence analysis of SCN9A in affected individuals revealed three distinct homozygous nonsense mutations (S459X, I767X and W897X). We show that these mutations cause loss of function of Na(v)1.7 by co-expression of wild-type or mutant human Na(v)1.7 with sodium channel beta(1) and beta(2) subunits in HEK293 cells. In cells expressing mutant Na(v)1.7, the currents were no greater than background. Our data suggest that SCN9A is an essential and non-redundant requirement for nociception in humans. These findings should stimulate the search for novel analgesics that selectively target this sodium channel subunit.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                20367448
                10.1146/annurev-neuro-060909-153234

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