PubMed 24396338

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir2.3

Title: Potassium channels in peripheral pain pathways: expression, function and therapeutic potential.

Authors: Xiaona Du, Nikita Gamper

Journal, date & volume: Curr Neuropharmacol, 2013 Dec , 11, 621-40

PubMed link:

Electrical excitation of peripheral somatosensory nerves is a first step in generation of most pain signals in mammalian nervous system. Such excitation is controlled by an intricate set of ion channels that are coordinated to produce a degree of excitation that is proportional to the strength of the external stimulation. However, in many disease states this coordination is disrupted resulting in deregulated peripheral excitability which, in turn, may underpin pathological pain states (i.e. migraine, neuralgia, neuropathic and inflammatory pains). One of the major groups of ion channels that are essential for controlling neuronal excitability is potassium channel family and, hereby, the focus of this review is on the K+ channels in peripheral pain pathways. The aim of the review is threefold. First, we will discuss current evidence for the expression and functional role of various K+ channels in peripheral nociceptive fibres. Second, we will consider a hypothesis suggesting that reduced functional activity of K+ channels within peripheral nociceptive pathways is a general feature of many types of pain. Third, we will evaluate the perspectives of pharmacological enhancement of K+ channels in nociceptive pathways as a strategy for new analgesic drug design.