The role of voltage-gated sodium channels in neuropathic pain

Josephine Lai, John C. Hunter, Frank Porreca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Use-dependent inhibitors of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC) are important therapeutic tools for chronic pain management, but are limited by possible severe side effects. Recent studies have provided much new information on the function of several voltage-gated sodium channels that are predominantly expressed in peripheral sensory neurons, and on their possible link to pathological pain states arising from injuries to the sensory nerve. The use of antisense oligonucleotides to target specific channel subtypes shows that the functional localization of the channel subtype NaV1.8 after nerve injury is essential for persistent pain states. The putative roles of NaV1.3 and NaV1.9 in neuropathic pain are also discussed. These studies may form a basis for developing inhibitors to target specific channel subtype(s) for use in chronic pain treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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