Localization of N-type Ca2+ channels in the rat spinal cord following chronic constrictive nerve injury

Dasa Cizkova, Jozef Marsala, Nadezda Lukacova, Martin Marsala, Stanislava Jergova, Judita Orendacova, Tony L. Yaksh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that spinal L-type, N-type, and P-type Ca2+-channel blockers are effective in modulating pain behavior caused nerve injury. In the present work, using the loose ligation of the sciatic nerve model, we characterized the time course of the appearance of tactile and cold allodynia and the corresponding spinal expression of the N-type Ca2+ channel α1B-subunit after nerve ligation. Within 1 week after ligation, the majority of rats developed a unilateral sensitivity to mechanical stimulation (von Frey filaments), as well as sensitivity to cold, which persisted for 30 days. Immunocytochemical analysis of the spinal cord in sham-operated animals for the α1B-subunit showed a smooth, moderate staining pattern in the superficial laminae I-II, as well as in ventral α-motoneurons. In nerve-ligated animals, an intense, dot-like immunoreactivity in the ipsilateral dorsal horn was observed from 5-20 days after nerve ligation. The most prominent α1B-subunit upregulation was found in the outer as well as the inner part of lamina II (IIo, IIi), extending from the medial toward the lateral region of the L4 and L5 spinal segments. The behavioral changes which developed after chronic constriction injury directly correlated with the α1B-subunit upregulation in the corresponding spinal cord segments. These data suggest that upregulation of the spinal α1B-subunit may play an important role in the initiation and maintenance of pain state after peripheral nerve injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-463
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Allodynia
  • Ca channels
  • Neuropathy
  • Rat
  • Spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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