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Neuroreport. 2001 Aug 8;12(11):2423-7.

Differential nociceptive responses in mice lacking the alpha(1B) subunit of N-type Ca(2+) channels.

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1
Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8575, Japan.

Abstract

The role of N-type Ca(2+) channels in nociceptive transmission was examined in genetically engineered mice lacking the alpha(1B) subunit of N-type channels and in their heterozygote and wild-type littermates. In alpha(1B)-deficient mice, N-type channel activities in dorsal root ganglion neurons and spinal synaptoneurosomes were eliminated without compensation by other types of voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels. The alpha(1B)-deficient mice showed a diminution in the phase 2 nociceptive responses more extensively than in the phase 1 nociceptive responses of the formalin test. The alpha(1B)-deficient mice exhibited significantly increased thermal nociceptive thresholds in the hot plate test, but failed to increase mechanical nociceptive thresholds in the tail pinch test. These results suggest a crucial role of N-type channels in nociceptive transmission, especially for persistent pain like phase 2 of the formalin test and for nociception induced by thermal stimuli.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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