Kainate receptor signaling in pain pathways

Sonia K. Bhangoo, Geoffrey T. Swanson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Receptors and channels that underlie nociceptive signaling constitute potential sites of intervention for treatment of chronic pain states. The kainate receptor family of glutamate-gated ion channels represents one such candidate set of molecules. They have a prominent role in modulation of excitatory signaling between sensory and spinal cord neurons. Kainate receptors are also expressed throughout central pain neuraxis, where their functional contributions to neural integration are less clearly defined. Pharmacological inhibition or genetic ablation of kainate receptor activity reduces pain behaviors in a number of animal models of chronic pain, and small clinical trials have been conducted using several orthosteric antagonists. This review will cover kainate receptor function and participation in pain signaling as well as the pharmacological studies supporting further consideration as potential targets for therapeutic development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-315
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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