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Neuroreport. 2005 Apr 4;16(5):479-83.

A conus peptide blocks nicotinic receptors of unmyelinated axons in human nerves.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Ludwig-Maximilians University, 80336 Munich, Germany.


The novel alpha-conotoxin Vc1.1 is a potential analgesic for the treatment of painful neuropathic conditions. In the present study, the effects of Vc1.1 were tested on the nicotine-induced increase in excitability of unmyelinated C-fiber axons in isolated segments of peripheral human nerves. Vc1.1 in concentrations above 0.1 microM antagonized the increase in axonal excitability produced by nicotine; the maximal inhibition was observed with 10 microM. We also demonstrate immunoreactivity for alpha 3 and alpha 5 subunits of neuronal nicotinic receptors on unmyelinated peripheral human axons. Blockade of nicotinic receptors on unmyelinated peripheral nerve fibers may be helpful in painful neuropathies affecting unmyelinated sympathetic and/or sensory axons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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