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Open AccessArticle

3’-O-Methylorobol Inhibits the Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Nav1.7 with Anti-Itch Efficacy in A Histamine-Dependent Itch Mouse Model

State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines and Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory for TCM Evaluation and Translational Development, School of Traditional Chinese Pharmacy, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 211198, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(23), 6058;
Received: 15 November 2019 / Revised: 25 November 2019 / Accepted: 29 November 2019 / Published: 1 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pharmacology)
An itch is a clinical complication that affects millions of patients. However, few treatment options are available. The voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7 is predominantly expressed in peripheral sensory neurons and is responsible for the rising phase of action potentials, thereby mediating nociceptive conduction. A gain-of-function mutation of Nav1.7 results in the hyperexcitability of sensory neurons and causes the inherited paroxysmal itch. Conversely, a monoclonal antibody that selectively inhibits Nav1.7 is able to effectively suppress the histamine-dependent itch in mice. Therefore, Nav1.7 inhibitors may possess the potential to relieve the itch. In the present study, using whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings, we demonstrated that 3’-O-methylorobol inhibited Na+ currents in Nav1.7-CHO cells and tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na+ currents in mouse dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons with IC50 (half-maximal inhibitory concentration) values of 3.46 and 6.60 μM, respectively. 3’-O-methylorobol also suppressed the tetrodotoxin-resistant Na+ currents in DRG neurons, though with reduced potency (~43% inhibition at 30 µM). 3’-O-methylorobol (10 µM) affected the Nav1.7 by shifting the half-maximal voltage (V1/2) of activation to a depolarizing direction by ~6.76 mV, and it shifted the V1/2 of inactivation to a hyperpolarizing direction by ~16.79 mV. An analysis of 3’-O-methylorobol activity toward an array of itch targets revealed that 3’-O-methylorobol was without effect on histamine H1 receptor, TRPV1, TRPV3, TRPV4, TRPC4 and TRPM8. The intrathecal administration of 3’-O-methylorobol significantly attenuated compound 48/80-induced histamine-dependent spontaneous scratching bouts and the expression level of c-fos in the nuclei of spinal dorsal horn neurons with a comparable efficacy to that of cyproheptadine. Our data illustrated the therapeutic potential for 3’-O-methylorobol for histamine-dependent itching, and the small molecule inhibition of Nav1.7 may represent a useful strategy to develop novel therapeutics for itching. View Full-Text
Keywords: Nav1.7; 3’-O-methylorobol; gating modifier; itch relief; lead compound Nav1.7; 3’-O-methylorobol; gating modifier; itch relief; lead compound
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Zhang, F.; Wu, Y.; Xue, S.; Wang, S.; Zhang, C.; Cao, Z. 3’-O-Methylorobol Inhibits the Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Nav1.7 with Anti-Itch Efficacy in A Histamine-Dependent Itch Mouse Model. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 6058.

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