Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18690052
Channels (Austin). 2008 Jan-Feb;2(1):4-9
The mechanism of action of gabapentin is still not well understood. It binds to the alpha(2)delta-1 and alpha(2)delta-2 subunits of voltage-gated calcium channels but has little acute effect on calcium currents in several systems. However, our recent results conclusively demonstrated that gabapentin inhibited calcium currents when applied chronically but not acutely, both in heterologous expression systems and in dorsal root ganglion neurons.(1) In that study we only examined a 40-hour time point of incubation with gabapentin, and here we have extended these results to include the effect of up to 6 and 20 hours incubation with gabapentin on calcium channel currents formed from Ca(V)2.1/beta(4)/alpha(2)delta-2 subunits. Gabapentin was significantly effective to inhibit the currents if included for 17-20 hours prior to recording, but it did not produce a significant inhibition if included for 3-6 hours. We previously concluded that gabapentin acts primarily at an intracellular location, requiring uptake into cells. However, this effect is mediated by alpha(2)delta subunits, being prevented by mutations in either alpha(2)delta-1 or alpha(2)delta-2 that abolish gabapentin binding.(1) Furthermore, we also showed that the trafficking of alpha(2)delta-2 and Ca(V)2 channels was disrupted by gabapentin. Here we have also extended that study, to show that the cell-surface expression of Ca(V)2.1 is not reduced by chronic gabapentin if it is co-expressed with alpha(2)delta-2 containing a point mutation (R282A) that prevents gabapentin binding.