Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder characterised by accumulation of glycosphin-golipids, and accompanied by clinical manifestations, such as cardiac disorders, renal failure, pain and peripheral neuropathy. Globotriaosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb3), a deacylated form of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3), has emerged as a marker of Fabry disease. We investigated the link between Gb3, lyso-Gb3 and pain. Plantar administration of lyso-Gb3 or Gb3 caused mechanical allodynia in healthy mice. In vitro application of 100 nM lyso-Gb3 caused uptake of extracellular calcium in 10% of sensory neurons expressing nociceptor markers, rising to 40% of neurons at 1 mu M, a concentration that may occur in Fabry disease patients. Peak current densities of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels were substantially enhanced by application of 1 mu M lyso-Gb3. These studies suggest a direct role for lyso-Gb3 in the sensitisation of peripheral nociceptive neurons that may provide an opportunity for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of Fabry disease-associated pain. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.