Neuropathic pain is associated with hyperexcitability of DRG neurons. Despite the importance of leakage potassium channels for neuronal excitability, little is known about their cell-specific expression in DRGs and possible modulation in neuropathic pain. Multiple leakage channels are expressed in DRG neurons, including TASK1, TASK3, TRESK, TRAAK, TWIK1, TREK1 and TREK2 but little is known about their distribution among different cell types. Our immunohistochemical studies show robust TWIK1 expression in large and medium size neurons, without overlap with TRPV1 or IB4 staining. TASK1 and TASK3, on the contrary, are selectively expressed in small cells; TASK1 expression closely overlaps TRPV1-positive cells, while TASK3 is expressed in TRPV1- and IB4-negative cells. We also studied mRNA expression of these channels in L4-L5 DRGs in control conditions and up to 4. weeks after spared nerve injury lesion. We found that TWIK1 expression is much higher than TASK1 and TASK3 and is strongly decreased 1, 2 and 4. weeks after neuropathic injury. TASK3 expression, on the other hand, decreases 1. week after surgery but reverts to baseline by 2. weeks; TASK1 shows no significant change at any time point. These data suggest an involvement of TWIK1 in the maintenance of the pain condition.
- Nerve injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology