DOI: 10.2174/1570159x21666230811102700 ISSN:

Role of Cav2.3 (R-type) Calcium Channel in Pain and Analgesia: A Scoping Review

Juliano Ferreira, Marcella de Amorim Ferreira
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Neurology
  • Pharmacology
  • General Medicine


Voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) play an important role in pain development and maintenance. As Cav2.2 and Cav3.2 channels have been identified as potential drug targets for analgesics, the participation of Cav2.3 (that gives rise to R-type calcium currents) in pain and analgesia remains incompletely understood.


Identify the participation of Cav2.3 in pain and analgesia.


To map research in this area as well as to identify any existing gaps in knowledge on the potential role of Cav2.3 in pain signalling, we conducted this scoping review. We searched PubMed and SCOPUS databases, and 40 articles were included in this study. Besides, we organized the studies into 5 types of categories within the broader context of the role of Cav2.3 in pain and analgesia.


Some studies revealed the expression of Cav2.3 in pain pathways, especially in nociceptive neurons at the sensory ganglia. Other studies demonstrated that Cav2.3-mediated currents could be in-hibited by analgesic/antinociceptive drugs either indirectly or directly. Some articles indicated that Cav2.3 modulates nociceptive transmission, especially at the pre-synaptic level at spinal sites. There are studies using different rodent pain models and approaches to reduce Cav2.3 activity or expression and mostly demonstrated a pro-nociceptive role of Cav2.3, despite some contradictory findings and deficiencies in the description of study design quality. There are three studies that reported the association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the Cav2.3 gene (CACNA1E) with postoperative pain and opioid consumption as well as with the prevalence of migraine in patients.


Cav2.3 is a target for some analgesic drugs and has a pro-nociceptive role in pain.

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