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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2003 Jun;13(3):291-7.

The role of voltage-gated sodium channels in neuropathic pain.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, 1501 North Campbell Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85724, USA.


Use-dependent inhibitors of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC) are important therapeutic tools for chronic pain management, but are limited by possible severe side effects. Recent studies have provided much new information on the function of several voltage-gated sodium channels that are predominantly expressed in peripheral sensory neurons, and on their possible link to pathological pain states arising from injuries to the sensory nerve. The use of antisense oligonucleotides to target specific channel subtypes shows that the functional localization of the channel subtype Na(V)1.8 after nerve injury is essential for persistent pain states. The putative roles of Na(V)1.3 and Na(V)1.9 in neuropathic pain are also discussed. These studies may form a basis for developing inhibitors to target specific channel subtype(s) for use in chronic pain treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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