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Antiépileptiques et canaux ioniques

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Résumé

Les antiépileptiques sont utilisés de manière empirique dans le traitement des douleurs neuropathiques. Si certains d’entre eux affectent la neurotransmission glutamatergique (acide valproïque, felbamate) ou GABAergique (benzodiazépines, vigabatrin), leurs cibles principales sont les canaux sodium (phénytoïne, carbamazépine, lamotrigine, acide valproïque, felbamate) et calcium (gabapentin) sensibles au potentiel. Chez l’animal, les effets antihyperalgésiques des antiépileptiques peuvent être mis en évidence dans des modèles de douleurs non seulement neuropathiques mais aussi inflamamtoires. Les modifications marquées de l’expression et/ou des propriétés des cibles des antiépileptiques observées dans ces modèles altèrent les propriétés élecriques des membranes des neurones, ce qui pourrait contribuer à la genèse des douleurs. C’est le cas plus particulièrement des changements des caractéristiques des canaux sodium sensibles au potentiel, dont certains sont experimés de manière préférentielle, voire speércifique, dans les fibres afférentes primaires qui transmettent les messages nociceptifs. On peut penser que des composés synthétisés pour moduler sélectivement les canaux ioniques propres aux fibres afférentes primaires auront une efficacié thérapeutique supérieure à celle des antiépileptiques actuellement disponibles, tout en étant dépourvus de leurs efets indśirables.

Summary

Anticonvulsant drugs are empirically used for alleviating neuropathic pain. Although some of them affect glutamatergic (valproic acid, felbamate) and GABAergic (benzodiazepines, vigabatrin) neurotransmission, their main targets are voltage-dependent sodium (phenytoin, carbamazepne, lamotrigine, valproic acid, felbamate) and calcium (gabapentin) channels. Anticonvulsant drugs exhibit antihyperalgesic effects in animal models of both neuropathic and inflammatory pain. Marked alterations of the expression and/or the properties of anticonvulsants’ targets in these animal models change the electrical properties of the neurone membranes, and might contribute to the generation and maintenance of pain. This applies particularly to the modifications of the characteristics of the voltage-dependent sodium channels, some of which are preferentially, and even specifically, expressed in primary afferent fibres that convey nociceptive messages.Compounds developed to selectively modulate the ionic channels proper to the primary afferent fibres can be expected to have higher therapeutic efficacy than anticonvulsant drugs presently available, and to be devoid of their undesirable effects.

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Correspondence to E. Collin.

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Texte présenté d’un cours de perfectionnement, intitulé «Douleur et Canaux loniques»qui s’est tenu dans le cadre de la 22e réunion annuelle de la SFD, le 19 novembre 1998 à Versailles.

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Collin, E. Antiépileptiques et canaux ioniques. Doul. et Analg. 12, 219–230 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03008487

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Key words

  • Anti-épileptiques
  • canaux ioniques
  • douleurs neuropathiques