An acid-sensing ion channel that detects ischemic pain

Nevner mange interessante ting om hvordan lav pH som følge av CO2 ikke er det samme som lav pH som følge av f.eks. melkesyre(laktic acid). De sier at melkesyre og ATP må være sammen for å gjøre pH-sensitive nerver aktive. Noe som skjer ved hard trening hvor ATP lekker ut fra muskel cellene. Laktat aktiverer ASICs umiddelbart, mens ATP er «treg» og det skjer i løpet av 30-60 sekunder. Kanskje denne overaskelsen i nervesystemet er utgangspunktet for sentralsensiteringen som skjer ved DOMS?

Paradox number 2 answered: coincident detection of lactate, ATP and acid

We are left with a seemingly more profound paradox: how can acid be relevant to ischemic pain if no pain is caused by metabolic events such as hypercapnia that can cause the same kind of pH change that occurs during a heart attack? Pan et al. (13) demonstrated the paradox most convincingly. They measured the pH on the surface of the heart when a coronary artery was blocked and found that it dropped from pH 7.4 to 7.0. Then they reperfused the artery and had the animal breathe carbon dioxide until the resulting hypercapnia dropped the pH of the heart to 7.0. The blockade of the artery caused increased firing of sensory axons that innervate the heart, but the hypercapnia did not. How can this observation be reconciled with their other result (see above) that buffering extracellular pH greatly diminishes axon firing during artery occlusion? The simple interpretation is that protons must be necessary to activate the sensory axons, but cannot by themselves be sufficient. In other words, something must act together with protons to activate the axons.

We searched for compounds released during ischemia that might act together with protons to activate ASIC3. We found two: lactate and adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP). When the channel is activated by pH 7.0 in the presence of 15 mM lactate, the resulting current is 80% greater than when lactate is absent (Figure 6). These are physiological values. Under resting conditions, extracellular lactate is about 1 mM in skeletal muscle; after extreme ischemic exercise it rises to 15-30 mM (26). The increased current in the presence of lactate makes the channel better at sensing the lactic acidosis that occurs in ischemia than other kinds of acidosis such as the carbonic acidosis when an animal breathes CO2.

Extracellular ATP rises to >10 µM when a muscle contracts without blood flow (27). We find that a transient appearance of such extracellular ATP can greatly increase ASIC3 current even for minutes after the ATP is removed (Figure 7).

Though they both increase ASIC3 current, lactate and ATP have qualitatively different effects. Lactate acts immediately and must be present for the ASIC current to be enhanced. ATP increases the current slowly – a peak is reached between 15 s and 1 min after ATP is applied – and the effect persists for minutes after ATP is removed. Also, lactate acts on every cell that expresses ASIC3 whereas ATP acts on some cells but not others. We find that lactate acts by altering the basic gating of the channel, which, surprisingly, involves binding of calcium in addition to protons (28). In contrast, the ATP binding site must not be the ASIC3 channel itself; there are a variety of purinergic receptors, some of which are ion channels and some of which are G-protein-coupled receptors. We are presently asking if any of these known receptors might mediate ATP modulation of ASIC3.

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