Sodium channels in normal and pathological pain

Sulayman D. Dib-Hajj, Theodore R. Cummins, Joel A. Black, Stephen G. Waxman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

398 Scopus citations


Nociception is essential for survival whereas pathological pain is maladaptive and often unresponsive to pharmacotherapy. Voltage-gated sodium channels, Nav1.1Nav1.9, are essential for generation and conduction of electrical impulses in excitable cells. Human and animal studies have identified several channels as pivotal for signal transmission along the pain axis, including Nav1.3, Nav1.7, Nav1.8, and Nav1.9, with the latter three preferentially expressed in peripheral sensory neurons and Nav1.3 being upregulated along pain-signaling pathways after nervous system injuries. Nav1.7 is of special interest because it has been linked to a spectrum of inherited human pain disorders. Here we review the contribution of these sodium channel isoforms to pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-347
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual Review of Neuroscience
StatePublished - Sep 29 2010


  • congenital insensitivity to pain
  • erythromelalgia
  • paroxysmal extreme pain disorder
  • sensory neurons
  • sympathetic neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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