No gain, no pain: NaV1.7 as an analgesic target

ACS Chem Neurosci. 2014 Sep 17;5(9):749-51. doi: 10.1021/cn500171p. Epub 2014 Aug 11.


Chronic pain is one of the most complex and difficult to manage clinical problems, with the therapeutic utility of current-generation analgesics restricted by problems such as dose-limiting side effects, tolerance, and the potential for addiction. The voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 plays a key role in setting the threshold for action potential generation in primary sensory neurons, and humans that lack this channel are completely insensitive to pain. In this Viewpoint, we examine the potential of NaV1.7 as an analgesic target a well as the challenges involved in developing therapeutically useful subtype-selective inhibitors of this ion channel.

Keywords: Chronic pain; NaV1.7; analgesic; monoclonal antibody; nociceptor; sensory neuron.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / pharmacology
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • NAV1.7 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel* / drug effects
  • NAV1.7 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel* / genetics
  • NAV1.7 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel* / metabolism
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / genetics
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / drug effects
  • Sodium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Sodium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use


  • Analgesics
  • NAV1.7 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel
  • SCN9A protein, human
  • Sodium Channel Blockers