Voltage-dependent sodium and calcium channels in pain-initiating nociceptor neurons are attractive targets for new analgesics. We made a permanently charged cationic derivative of an N-type calcium channel-inhibitor. Unlike cationic derivatives of local anesthetic sodium channel blockers like QX-314, this cationic compound inhibited N-type calcium channels more effectively with extracellular than intracellular application. Surprisingly, the compound is also a highly effective sodium channel inhibitor when applied extracellularly, producing more potent inhibition than lidocaine or bupivacaine. The charged inhibitor produced potent and long-lasting analgesia in mouse models of incisional wound and inflammatory pain, inhibited release of the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from dorsal root ganglion neurons, and reduced inflammation in a mouse model of allergic asthma, which has a strong neurogenic component. The results show that some cationic molecules applied extracellularly can powerfully inhibit both sodium channels and calcium channels, thereby blocking both nociceptor excitability and pro-inflammatory peptide release.
Keywords: Cav2.2; Nav1.7; asthma; calcitonin gene-related peptide; dorsal root ganglion; inflammatory peptide; mouse; neuroscience.
© 2019, Lee et al.