Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

GDNF induces mechanical hyperalgesia in muscle by reducing IBK in isolectin B4-positive nociceptors


We have assessed the mechanism underlying glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF)-induced mechanical hyperalgesia in the gastrocnemius muscle, using patch clamp electrophysiology, in vivo electrophysiology and behavioral studies. Cultured isolectin B4-positive (IB4+) dorsal root ganglion neurons that innervated this muscle were held under current clamp; the majority developed an increase in action potential duration (a factor of increase of 2.29±0.24, compared to 1.13±0.17 in control, P<0.01) in response to GDNF (200 ng/ml) by 15 min after application. They also demonstrated a depolarization of resting membrane potential, but without significant changes in rheobase, action potential peak, or after-hyperpolarization. Large-conductance voltage- and calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels, which have recently been shown to play a role in the repolarization of IB4+ nociceptors, were inhibited under voltage clamp, as indicated by a significant reduction in the iberiotoxin-sensitive current. In vivo single-fiber recording from muscle afferents revealed that injection of iberiotoxin into their peripheral nociceptive field caused an increase in nociceptor firing in response to a 60s suprathreshold stimulus (an increase from 392.2±119.8 spikes to 596.1±170.8 spikes, P<0.05). This was observed in the absence of changes in the mechanical threshold. Finally, injection of iberiotoxin into the gastrocnemius muscle produced dose-dependent mechanical hyperalgesia. These data support the suggestion that GDNF induces nociceptor sensitization and mechanical hyperalgesia, at least in part, by inhibiting BK current in IB4+ nociceptors.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View