Noxious pain signals are transduced in the peripheral nervous system as action potentials, which rely on the activities of voltage-gated sodium channels (NaVs). Blocking NaVs is thus a valuable strategy for pain treatment. Here, we report the characterization of a novel NaVs antagonist, 2-(2-(diethylamino)ethyl)indeno[1,2,3-de]phthalazin-3(2H)-one (C65780), and investigation of its action mechanisms. C65780 inhibited the resting NaV1.7, NaV1.8, and NaV1.9 channels with IC50s of 11.3 ± 0.4 μM, 2.7 ± 0.3 μM and 19.2 ± 2.3 μM, respectively. Mechanistic analysis revealed that C65780 quickly bound to its high-affinity receptor site in NaV1.7 as formed by the fast inactivation process and stabilized the channels in a slowly recovering state, for which it facilitated NaV1.7 channels’ inactivation by shifting their inactivation-voltage relationship in the hyperpolarizing direction, increasing the plateau proportion of inactivated channels, and blunting their time-dependent recovery. The slow inactivation of NaV1.7, however, is not involved in the action of C65780. In DRG neurons, C65780 also inhibited activity of NaVs, thus dampening neuronal excitability. These effects parlayed into a broad efficacy of orally administrated C65780 in various models of pain, with an efficacy comparable to the antidepressant/neuropathic pain drug Amitriptyline. Excitingly, C65780 demonstrated weaker inactivated state inhibition of related NaV1.4 and NaV1.5 channels compared to amitriptyline, and no toxicity or inhibition of locomotion in a forced-swimming test was observed in mice at pain-relieving doses. These results demonstrate that C65780 acts by trapping NaVs in the inactivated and slowly-recovering state to produce pain relief and may represent an excellent starting compound for developing analgesics.
- Fast inactivation
- Slow inactivation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience