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Role of voltage gated Ca2+ channels in rat visceral hypersensitivity change induced by 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid

Aihua Qian1, Dandan Song1, Yong Li2, Xinqiu Liu3, Dong Tang1, Weiyan Yao1 and Yaozong Yuan1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Gastroenterology, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China

2 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

3 Department of Neurobiology, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

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Molecular Pain 2013, 9:15  doi:10.1186/1744-8069-9-15

Published: 28 March 2013



Visceral pain is common symptom involved in many gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease. The underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. We investigated the molecular mechanisms and the role for voltage gated calcium channel (VGCC) in the pathogenesis in a rat model of 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) induced visceral inflammatory hypersensitivity.


Using Agilent cDNA arrays, we found 172 genes changed significantly in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of TNBS treated rats. Among these changed genes, Cav1.2 and Cav2.3 were significantly up-regulated. Then the RT-PCR and Western blot further confirmed the up-regulation of Cav1.2 and Cav2.3. The whole cell patch clamp recording of acutely dissociated colonic specific DRG neurons showed that the peak IBa density was significantly increased in colonic neurons of TNBS treated rats compared with control rats (−127.82 ± 20.82 pA/pF Vs −91.67 ± 19.02 pA/pF, n = 9, *P < 0.05). To distinguish the different type of calcium currents with the corresponding selective channel blockers, we found that L-type (−38.56 ± 3.97 pA/pF Vs −25.75 ± 3.35 pA/pF, n = 9, * P < 0.05) and R-type (−13.31 ± 1.36 pA/pF Vs −8.60 ± 1.25 pA/pF, n = 9, * P < 0.05) calcium current density were significantly increased in colonic DRG neurons of TNBS treated rats compared with control rats. In addition, pharmacological blockade with L-type antagonist (nimodipine) and R-type antagonist (SNX-482) with intrathecal injection attenuates visceral pain in TNBS induced inflammatory visceral hypersensitivity.


Cav1.2 and Cav2.3 in colonic primary sensory neurons play an important role in visceral inflammatory hyperalgesia, which maybe the potential therapeutic targets.

Dorsal root ganglia; TNBS; Visceral sensory; Voltage gated calcium channels; [Ca2+]i