Although recent studies have implicated serotonin 5-HT1B/D receptors in the nociceptive sensitivity of primary afferent neurons, the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we identified a novel functional role of the 5-HT1D receptor subtype in regulating A-type potassium (K(+)) currents (IA) as well as membrane excitability in small trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons. We found that the selective activation of 5-HT1D, rather than 5-HT1B, receptors reversibly increased IA, while the sustained delayed rectifier K(+) current was unaffected. The 5-HT1D-mediated IA increase was associated with a depolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of inactivation. Blocking G-protein signaling with pertussis toxin or by intracellular application of a selective antibody raised against Gαo or Gβ abolished the 5-HT1D effect on IA. Inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA), but not of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase or protein kinase C, abolished the 5-HT1D-mediated IA increase. Analysis of phospho-p38 (p-p38) revealed that activation of 5-HT1D, but not 5-HT1B, receptors significantly activated p38, while p-ERK and p-JNK were unaffected. The p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580, but not its inactive analogue SB202474, and inhibition of B-Raf blocked the 5-HT1D-mediated IA response. Functionally, we observed a significantly decreased action potential firing rate induced by the 5-HT1D receptors; pretreatment with 4-aminopyridine abolished this effect. Taken together, these results suggest that the activation of 5-HT1D receptors selectively enhanced IA via the Gβγ of the Go-protein, PKA, and the sequential B-Raf-dependent p38 MAPK signaling cascade. This 5-HT1D receptor effect may contribute to neuronal hypoexcitability in small TG neurons.
Keywords: 5-HT(1D) receptor; A-type K(+) currents (I(A)); Neuronal excitability; Trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons.
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