Research ArticleDIABETIC NEUROPATHY

Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide–gated 2 (HCN2) ion channels drive pain in mouse models of diabetic neuropathy

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Science Translational Medicine  27 Sep 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 409, eaam6072
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aam6072

Taking diabetic pain to heart

People with diabetes can, over time, develop painful diabetic neuropathy, a chronic pain condition induced by nerve damage. The molecular bases of diabetes-induced pain are poorly understood, and currently, there are no effective treatments. Tsantoulas et al. show that HCN2 channels, known for their role in neuronal excitability and heart rate modulation, are overactivated in the nociceptive neurons that detect pain. Ivabradine, an HCN inhibitor used for treating heart conditions, reduced chronic pain in mice with diabetes, suggesting that HCN2-selective inhibitors might be a valuable therapeutic strategy for treating diabetic neuropathies.

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