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J Neurophysiol. 2003 Dec;90(6):3764-73. Epub 2003 Aug 27.

Axotomy-induced expression of calcium-activated chloride current in subpopulations of mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons.

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  • 1Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U-583, Université Montpellier II, 34095, Montpellier 5, France.


Whole cell patch-clamp recordings of calcium-activated chloride current [ICl(Ca)] were made from adult sensory neurons of naive and axotomized mouse L4-L6 lumbar dorsal root ganglia after 1 day of culture in vitro. A basal ICl(Ca) was specifically expressed in a subset of naive medium-diameter neurons (30-40 microm). Prior nerve injury, induced by sciatic nerve transection 5 days before experiments, increased both ICl(Ca) amplitude and its expression in medium-diameter neurons. Moreover, nerve injury also induced ICl(Ca) expression in a new subpopulation of neurons, the large-diameter neurons (40-50 microm). Small-diameter neurons (inferior to 30 microm) never expressed ICl(Ca). Regulated ICl(Ca) expression was strongly correlated with injury-induced regenerative growth of sensory neurons in vitro and nerve regeneration in vivo. Cell culture on a substrate not permissive for growth, D,L-polyornithine, prevented both elongation growth and ICl(Ca) expression in axotomized neurons. Regenerative growth and the induction of ICl(Ca) expression take place 2 days after injury, peak after 5 days of conditioning in vivo, slowly declining thereafter to control values. The selective expression of ICl(Ca) within medium- and large-diameter neurons conditioned for rapid, efficient growth suggests that these channels play a specific role in postinjury behavior of sensory neuron subpopulations such as neuropathic pain and/or axonal regeneration.

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