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Anesthesiology 2014 Sep 01;1213:620-31. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000000296.
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Neurosteroids allopregnanolone sulfate and pregnanolone sulfate have diverse effect on the α subunit of the neuronal voltage-gated sodium channels Nav1.2, Nav1.6, Nav1.7, and Nav1.8 expressed in xenopus oocytes.

Horishita T , Yanagihara N , Ueno S , Sudo Y , Uezono Y , Okura D , Minami T , Kawasaki T , Sata T .

The neurosteroids allopregnanolone and pregnanolone are potent positive modulators of γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors. Antinociceptive effects of allopregnanolone have attracted much attention because recent reports have indicated the potential of allopregnanolone as a therapeutic agent for refractory pain. However, the analgesic mechanisms of allopregnanolone are still unclear. Voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav) are thought to play important roles in inflammatory and neuropathic pain, but there have been few investigations on the effects of allopregnanolone on sodium channels. Using voltage-clamp techniques, the effects of allopregnanolone sulfate (APAS) and pregnanolone sulfate (PAS) on sodium current were examined in Xenopus oocytes expressing Nav1.2, Nav1.6, Nav1.7, and Nav1.8 α subunits. APAS suppressed sodium currents of Nav1.2, Nav1.6, and Nav1.7 at a holding potential causing half-maximal current in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas it markedly enhanced sodium current of Nav1.8 at a holding potential causing maximal current. Half-maximal inhibitory concentration values for Nav1.2, Nav1.6, and Nav1.7 were 12 ± 4 (n = 6), 41 ± 2 (n = 7), and 131 ± 15 (n = 5) μmol/l (mean ± SEM), respectively. The effects of PAS were lower than those of APAS. From gating analysis, two compounds increased inactivation of all α subunits, while they showed different actions on activation of each α subunit. Moreover, two compounds showed a use-dependent block on Nav1.2, Nav1.6, and Nav1.7. APAS and PAS have diverse effects on sodium currents in oocytes expressing four α subunits. APAS inhibited the sodium currents of Nav1.2 most strongly.

PubMed ID: 24809977
Article link: Anesthesiology

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: nav1 scn2a scn8a