Presynaptic facilitation by tetracaine of glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory transmission in the rat spinal substantia gelatinosa - Involvement of TRPA1 channels

Lian-Hua Piao, Tsugumi Fujita, Ting Yu, Eiichi Kumamoto
Brain Research 2017 February 15, 1657: 245-252
The amide-type local anesthetic (LA) lidocaine activates transient receptor potential (TRP) ankyrin-1 (TRPA1) channels to facilitate spontaneous l-glutamate release onto spinal substantia gelatinosa (SG) neurons, which play a crucial role in regulating nociceptive transmission. In contrast, the ester-type LA procaine reduces the spontaneous release of l-glutamate in SG neurons. In order to determine whether TRPA1 activation by LAs is specific to amide-types, we examined the actions of tetracaine, another ester-type LA, and other amide-type LAs on glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory transmission in SG neurons by focusing on TRP activation. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on SG neurons of adult rat spinal cord slices at a holding potential of -70mV. Bath-applied tetracaine increased spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency in a concentration-dependent manner. Tetracaine activity was resistant to the voltage-gated Na+ -channel blocker tetrodotoxin, the TRP vanilloid-1 antagonist capsazepine, and the TRP melastatin-8 antagonist BCTC, but was inhibited by the non-selective TRP antagonist ruthenium red and the TRPA1 antagonist HC-030031. With respect to amide-type LAs, prilocaine had a tendency to increase sEPSC frequency, while ropivacaine and levobupivacaine reduced the frequency. In conclusion, tetracaine facilitated spontaneous l-glutamate release from nerve terminals by activating TRPA1 channels in the SG, resulting in an increase in the excitability of SG neurons. TRPA1 activation was not specific to amide-type or ester-type LAs. The facilitatory action of LAs may be involved in pain occurring after recovery from spinal anesthesia.

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