Alexander M. Binshtok

Learn More
We report that GTP cyclohydrolase (GCH1), the rate-limiting enzyme for tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) synthesis, is a key modulator of peripheral neuropathic and inflammatory pain. BH4 is an essential cofactor for catecholamine, serotonin and nitric oxide production. After axonal injury, concentrations of BH4 rose in primary sensory neurons, owing to(More)
A cardinal feature of inflammation is heightened pain sensitivity at the site of the inflamed tissue. This results from the local release by immune and injured cells of nociceptor sensitizers, including prostaglandin E(2), bradykinin, and nerve growth factor, that reduce the threshold and increase the excitability of the peripheral terminals of nociceptors(More)
Most local anaesthetics used clinically are relatively hydrophobic molecules that gain access to their blocking site on the sodium channel by diffusing into or through the cell membrane. These anaesthetics block sodium channels and thereby the excitability of all neurons, not just sensory neurons. We tested the possibility of selectively blocking the(More)
BACE1 activity is significantly increased in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients, potentially contributing to neurodegeneration. The voltage-gated sodium channel (Na(v)1) beta2-subunit (beta2), a type I membrane protein that covalently binds to Na(v)1 alpha-subunits, is a substrate for BACE1 and gamma-secretase. Here, we find that(More)
In sensory areas of neocortex, thalamocortical afferents project primarily onto the spiny stellate neurons of Layer 4. Anatomical evidence indicates that these cells receive most of their excitatory input from other cortical neurons, including other spiny stellate cells. Although this local network must play an important role in sensory processing, little(More)
Pain is a major unmet medical need which has been causally linked to changes in sodium channel expression, modulation, or mutations that alter channel gating properties or current density in nociceptor neurons. Voltage-gated sodium channels activate (open) then rapidly inactivate in response to a depolarization of the plasma membrane of excitable cells(More)
The peripheral terminals of primary sensory neurons detect histamine and non-histamine itch-provoking ligands through molecularly distinct transduction mechanisms. It remains unclear, however, whether these distinct pruritogens activate the same or different afferent fibers. Using a strategy of reversibly silencing specific subsets of murine(More)
BACKGROUND Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 channels integrate nociceptive stimuli and are predominantly expressed by unmyelinated C-fiber nociceptors, but not low-threshold mechanoreceptive sensory or motor fibers. A recent report showed that the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 channel agonist capsaicin allows a hydrophilic quaternary(More)
In layer 4 of the somatosensory cortex, the glutamatergic synapses that interconnect spiny stellate (SpS) neurons, which are the major targets of thalamocortical input, differ from most other neocortical excitatory synapses in that they have an extremely large NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated component that is relatively insensitive to voltage-dependent Mg2+(More)
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE We have developed a strategy to target the permanently charged lidocaine derivative lidocaine N-ethyl bromide (QX-314) selectively into nociceptive sensory neurons through the large-pore transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V (TRPV1) noxious heat detector channel. This involves co-administration of QX-314 and a TRPV1(More)