Sodium channels confer excitability on neurons in nociceptive pathways and exhibit neuronal tissue specific and injury regulated expression. This volume provides recent insights into the control of expression, functioning and membrane trafficking of nervous system sodium channels and reviews why sodium channel sub-types are potentially important drug targets in the treatment of pain. The roles of sodium channels in dental and visceral pain are also addressed. The emerging role of sodium channel Nav1.3 in neuropathic states is another important theme.
Authors from the pharmaceutical industry discuss pharmacological approaches to the drug targeting of sodium channels, and in particular Nav1.8, exclusively expressed in nociceptive neurons. The final chapter highlights the functional diversity of sodium channels in part provided by post-transcriptional processing and the insights into sodium channel function that are being provided by tissue specific and inducible gene knock-out technology.