Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are generally used in the treatment of inflammation and pain through cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition. Mounting evidence has indicated additional COX-independent targets for NSAIDs including acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) 1a and 3. However, detailed function and mechanism of ASICs still remain largely elusive. In this study, the impact of NSAIDs on ASICs in nucleus pulposus cells of the human intervertebral disk was investigated. Nucleus pulposus cells were isolated and cultured from protruded disk tissues of 40 patients. It was shown that ASIC1a and ASIC3 were expressed and functional in these cells by analyzing proton-gated currents after ASIC inhibition. We further investigated the neuroprotective capacity of ibuprofen (a COX inhibitor), psalmotoxin-1 (PcTX1, a tarantula toxin specific for homomeric ASIC1a), and amiloride (a classic inhibitor of the epithelial sodium channel ENaC/DEG family to which ASICs belong). PcTX1-containing venom has been shown to be comparable with amiloride in its neuroprotective features in rodent models of ischemia. Taken together, our data showed that amiloride, PcTX1, and ibuprofen decreased ASIC protein expression and thereby exerted protective effects from ASIC inhibition-mediated cell damage.
- Acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC)
- Intervertebral disknucleus pulposus cells
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
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