Downregulation of voltage-gated potassium channel alpha gene expression in dorsal root ganglia following chronic constriction injury of the rat sciatic nerve

Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2002 Sep 30;105(1-2):146-52. doi: 10.1016/s0169-328x(02)00388-1.


The hyperexcitability and ectopic spontaneous discharge (ESD) of primary sensory neurons may be important for the generation or maintenance of neuropathic pain. To investigate the relationship between the electrical abnormalities of injured neurons and voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channel gene expression, the expression of the Kv channel alpha genes in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) was monitored by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in a chronic constriction injury (CCI) model of neuropathic pain. Electrophoresis of the RT-PCR products showed the presence of several Kv alpha transcript types with various levels of basal expression in lumbar 4, 5, and 6 DRGs. The Kv 1.2, 1.4, 2.2, 4.2, and 4.3 mRNA levels in the ipsilateral DRG were 63-73% of the contralateral sides of the same animal at 3 days and 34-63% at 7 days following CCI. In addition, Kv 1.1 mRNA levels declined to about 72% of the contralateral level at 7 days. No significant changes in Kv 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.5, and 4.1 mRNA levels were detectable in the ipsilateral DRG at both days. These results suggest that the downregulation of Kv channel alpha gene expression in the DRG following CCI may result in the reduction of K(+) current and contribute to neuronal excitability and ESD generation.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / genetics
  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Down-Regulation / genetics*
  • Ganglia, Spinal / metabolism*
  • Ganglia, Spinal / physiopathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Kv1.2 Potassium Channel
  • Male
  • Neural Conduction / genetics
  • Neuralgia / genetics
  • Neuralgia / metabolism*
  • Neuralgia / physiopathology
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / genetics
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Potassium Channels / genetics*
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sciatic Nerve / injuries
  • Sciatic Nerve / metabolism
  • Sciatic Nerve / surgery


  • Kcna2 protein, rat
  • Kv1.2 Potassium Channel
  • Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated
  • RNA, Messenger