Acid-sensing ion channels: advances, questions and therapeutic opportunities

Trends Neurosci. 2006 Oct;29(10):578-86. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2006.06.014. Epub 2006 Aug 7.


Extracellular acid can have important effects on neuron function. In central and peripheral neurons, acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) have emerged as key receptors for extracellular protons, and recent studies suggest diverse roles for these channels in the pathophysiology of pain, ischemic stroke and psychiatric disease. ASICs have also been implicated in mechanosensation in the peripheral nervous system and in neurotransmission in the central nervous system. Here, we briefly review advances in our understanding of ASICs, their potential contributions to disease, and the possibility for their therapeutic modification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acid Sensing Ion Channels
  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Extracellular Fluid / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular / physiology*
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Mental Disorders / physiopathology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / chemistry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Nervous System / physiology*
  • Sodium Channels / chemistry
  • Sodium Channels / physiology*
  • Stroke / physiopathology


  • Acid Sensing Ion Channels
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Sodium Channels