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Scandinavian Journal of Pain

Official Journal of the Scandinavian Association for the Study of Pain

Editor-in-Chief: Werner, Mads


CiteScore 2018: 0.85

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.494
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.427

Online
ISSN
1877-8879
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Volume 16, Issue 1

Issues

Modelling activity-dependent changes of velocity in C-fibers

J. Tigerholm
  • Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP), SMI®, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University Aalborg, Denmark
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ M.E. Petersson
  • Department of Computational Biology, School of Computer Science and Communication, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Brain Institute, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ O. Obreja / A. Lampert
  • Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany
  • Institute of Physiology, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ R. Carr / M. Schmelz / E. Fransén
  • Department of Computational Biology, School of Computer Science and Communication, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Brain Institute, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-07-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjpain.2017.04.062

Abstract

Aims

When C-nociceptors are activated repeatedly using electrical stimulation at relatively low frequencies (0.125–2 Hz), their propagation velocity will decrease. This is referred to as activity-dependent slowing (ADS). The main reason why activity-dependent changes in velocity are of interest is that they can be recorded directly, using invasive methods (microneurography), in patients with chronic pain. Interestingly, in certain patients with neuropathic pain, reduced activity-dependent slowing of conduction has been observed, indicating that these axons have an increased excitability. Through a computational model, it is possible to link such velocity alterations with changes in active conductances, opening for an understanding the underlying excitability changes occurring in these patients.

Methods

We have developed a detailed multicompartment model of a C-nociceptor fiber. This model incorporates a wide range of voltage-gated ion channels (Nav1.7, Nav1.8, Nav1.9, Kdr, KA, KM, KNa and h) which were implemented across a detailed and realistic axon morphology.

Results

The model predicts that the small diameter of the axon can accumulate intracellular sodium when it is repeatedly activated in a similar fashion as during single fiber microneurography. This increase of intracellular sodium concentration can shift the balance between ion channel currents, shift the membrane potential and membrane input resistance, and thereby generate activity-dependent changes of velocity, such as ADS as well as recovery cycle supernormality.

Conclusions

Our results thus provide insight into how activity-dependent excitability changes can be generated in C-fibers. By identifying which ion channels are contributing to activity-dependent changes of velocity this could provide insight into ion channel alterations in neuropathic pain patients.

About the article

Published Online: 2017-07-01

Published in Print: 2017-07-01


Citation Information: Scandinavian Journal of Pain, Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 186–187, ISSN (Online) 1877-8879, ISSN (Print) 1877-8860, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjpain.2017.04.062.

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