α-Conotoxin Vc1.1 inhibits human dorsal root ganglion neuroexcitability and mouse colonic nociception via GABA B receptors

Joel Castro, Andrea Harrington, Sonia Garcia-Caraballo, Jess Maddern, Luke Grundy, Jingming Zhang, Guy Page, Paul Miller, David Craik, David Adams, Stuart Brierley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective α-Conotoxin Vc1.1 is a small disulfide-bonded peptide from the venom of the marine cone snail Conus victoriae. Vc1.1 has antinociceptive actions in animal models of neuropathic pain, but its applicability to inhibiting human dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuroexcitability and reducing chronic visceral pain (CVP) is unknown. Design We determined the inhibitory actions of Vc1.1 on human DRG neurons and on mouse colonic sensory afferents in healthy and chronic visceral hypersensitivity (CVH) states. In mice, visceral nociception was assessed by neuronal activation within the spinal cord in response to noxious colorectal distension (CRD). Quantitative-reverse-Transcription-PCR, single-cell-reverse-Transcription-PCR and immunohistochemistry determined I 3-Aminobutyric acid receptor B (GABA B R) and voltage-gated calcium channel (Ca V 2.2, Ca V 2.3) expression in human and mouse DRG neurons. Results Vc1.1 reduced the excitability of human DRG neurons, whereas a synthetic Vc1.1 analogue that is inactive at GABA B R did not. Human DRG neurons expressed GABA B R and its downstream effector channels Ca V 2.2 and Ca V 2.3. Mouse colonic DRG neurons exhibited high GABA B R, Ca V 2.2 and Ca V 2.3 expression, with upregulation of the Ca V 2.2 exon-37a variant during CVH. Vc1.1 inhibited mouse colonic afferents ex vivo and nociceptive signalling of noxious CRD into the spinal cord in vivo, with greatest efficacy observed during CVH. A selective GABA B R antagonist prevented Vc1.1-induced inhibition, whereas blocking both Ca V 2.2 and Ca V 2.3 caused inhibition comparable with Vc1.1 alone. Conclusions Vc1.1-mediated activation of GABA B R is a novel mechanism for reducing the excitability of human DRG neurons. Vc1.1-induced activation of GABA B R on the peripheral endings of colonic afferents reduces nociceptive signalling. The enhanced antinociceptive actions of Vc1.1 during CVH suggest it is a novel candidate for the treatment for CVP.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1083-1094
    Number of pages12
    JournalGut
    Volume66
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

    Keywords

    • ABDOMINAL PAIN
    • ION CHANNELS
    • IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
    • REAL TIME PCR
    • VISCERAL NOCICEPTION

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