Although abnormal peripheral and central pain processing has been observed in fibromyalgia (FM) patients, the biomechanics and pathophysiology, surrounding the peripheral mechanism are not well understood. An intermediate conductance channel, K Ca3.1, is expressed in peripheral sensory nerve fibers where it maintains the resting membrane potential and controls nerve firing, making it a plausible target for peripheral therapeutic interventions. ASP0819, a K Ca3.1 channel opener, is an orally available molecular entity and is used in this investigation to elucidate the role of K Ca3.1 in signal processing of pain in FM.
Human or rat K Ca3.1 channel-expressing cells were used for evaluating the main action of the compound. Effects of the compound on withdrawal behavior by mechanical stimulation were examined in reserpine-induced myalgia (RIM) and vagotomy-induced myalgia (VIM) models of rats. In addition, in vivo electrophysiological analysis was performed to examine the peripheral mechanisms of action of the compound. Other pain models were also examined.
ASP0819 increased the negative membrane potential in a concentration-dependent manner. Oral administration of ASP0819 significantly recovered the decrease in muscle pressure threshold in rat FM models of RIM and VIM. The in vivo electrophysiological experiments showed that Aδ- and C-fibers innervating the leg muscles in the RIM model demonstrated increased spontaneous and mechanically evoked firing compared with normal rats. Intravenous infusion of ASP0819 significantly reduced both the spontaneous activity and mechanically evoked responses in Aδ-fibers in the rat RIM model. ASP0819 significantly reduced the number of abdominal contractions as an indicator of abdominal pain behaviors in the rat visceral extension model and withdrawal responses in the osteoarthritis model, respectively.