Lidocaine reduces the transition to slow inactivation in Na v1.7 voltage-gated sodium channels

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The primary use of local anaesthetics is to prevent or relieve pain by reversibly preventing action potential propagation through the inhibition of voltage-gated sodium channels. The tetrodotoxin-sensitive voltage-gated sodium channel subtype Na v1.7, abundantly expressed in pain-sensing neurons, plays a crucial role in perception and transmission of painful stimuli and in inherited chronic pain syndromes. Understanding the interaction of lidocaine with Na v1.7 channels could provide valuable insight into the drug's action in alleviating pain in distinct patient populations. The aim of this study was to determine how lidocaine interacts with multiple inactivated conformations of Na v1.7 channels. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH We investigated the interactions of lidocaine with wild-type Na v1.7 channels and a paroxysmal extreme pain disorder mutation (I1461T) that destabilizes fast inactivation. Whole cell patch clamp recordings were used to examine the activity of channels expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. KEY RESULTS Depolarizing pulses that increased slow inactivation of Na v1.7 channels also reduced lidocaine inhibition. Lidocaine enhanced recovery of Na v1.7 channels from prolonged depolarizing pulses by decreasing slow inactivation. A paroxysmal extreme pain disorder mutation that destabilizes fast inactivation of Na v1.7 channels decreased lidocaine inhibition. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Lidocaine decreased the transition of Na v1.7 channels to the slow inactivated state. The fast inactivation gate (domain III-IV linker) is important for potentiating the interaction of lidocaine with the Na v1.7 channel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-730
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2 B
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011



  • channelopathies
  • inactivation
  • local anaesthetics
  • Na 1.7
  • neuropathic pain
  • voltage-gated sodium channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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