News - Role of calcium channels in chronic pain

While 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain, therapies have limited effectiveness. Among the favored avenues of research are ion channels. In particular, it has been shown that Cav3.2-type calcium channels expressed in sensory neurons play a critical role in the perception of neuropathic pain. In contrast, there is very little information on a putative pronociceptive role of these channels expressed in the brain.

By using a mouse model that allows the localization and specific deletion of Cav3.2 channels, the team of Nathalie Leresche and Régis Lambert (NPS) and his collaborators have shown that this channel is expressed in a specific population of neurons in the system. central nervous system, located in the anterior pretectum, a structure that constitutes a hub in the connectivity involved in the perception of pain. Its deletion in these neurons reduces allodynia, i.e. pain triggered by a normally painless stimulus. This is the first demonstration of the fundamental role of brain Cav3.2 channels in the pathophysiology of pain.

Fayad, S. L., Ourties, G., Le Gac, B., Jouffre, B., Lamoine, S., Fruquière, A., Laffray, S., Gasmi, L., Cauli, B., Mallet, C., Bourinet, E., Bessaih, T., Lambert, R. C., & Leresche, N. (2022). Centrally expressed Cav3.2 T-type calcium channel is critical for the initiation and maintenance of neuropathic pain. eLife, 11, e79018. eLife.79018