Large conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK(Ca)) channels are membrane proteins contributing to electrical propagation through neurons. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a neuropeptide found in the trigeminovascular system (TGVS). Both BK(Ca) channels and CGRP are involved in migraine pathophysiology. Here we study the expression and localization of BK(Ca) channels and CGRP in the rat trigeminal ganglion (TG) and the trigeminal nucleus caudalis (TNC) as these structures are involved in migraine pain. Also the effect of the BK(Ca) channel blocker iberiotoxin and the BK(Ca) channel opener NS11021 on CGRP release from isolated TG and TNC was investigated. By RT-PCR, BK(Ca) channel mRNA was detected in the TG and the TNC. A significant difference in BK(Ca) channel mRNA transcript levels were found using qPCR between the TNC as compared to the TG. The BK(Ca) channel protein was more expressed in the TNC as compared to the TG shown by western blotting. Immunohistochemistry identified BK(Ca) channels in the nerve cell bodies of the TG and the TNC. The beta2- and beta4-subunit proteins were found in the TG and the TNC. They were both more expressed in the TNC as compared to TG shown by western blotting. In isolated TNC, the BK(Ca) channel blocker iberiotoxin induced a concentration-dependent release of CGRP that was attenuated by the BK(Ca) channel opener NS11021. No effect on basal CGRP release was found by NS11021 in isolated TG or TNC or by iberiotoxin in TG. In conclusion, we found both BK(Ca) channel mRNA and protein expression in the TG and the TNC. The BK(Ca) channel protein and the modulatory beta2- and beta4-subunt proteins were more expressed in the TNC than in the TG. Iberiotoxin induced an increase in CGRP release from the TNC that was attenuated by NS11021. Thus, BK(Ca) channels might have a role in trigeminovascular pain transmission.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2. Jun 2010|