TRPA1: A contributor to itching and inflammation? Scratch that!

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:54

Transient receptor potential A1 (TRPA1) is an ion channel found on the plasma membrane of many cell types that functions in diverse sensory processes such as pain and temperature. The TRPA1 ion channel is specifically expressed in nociceptive neurons, as well as neurons who express the related protein TRPV1. In fact, Brierly et al used a TRPA1 antibody to discover that this ion channel is largely present on smaller neurons vs larger ones (1). A typical inflammatory response instigates tissue repair and eradication of harmful agents after tissue has been damaged. While TRPA1 elicits mostly a positive response, it can also cause chronic inflammation, which can lead to other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic itching and asthma (2).

Immunohistochemistry: TRPA1 Antibody Immunohistochemistry: TRPA1 Antibody

Research performed by Liu B et al using a TRPA1 antibody showed that TRPA1 is essential for chronic itch to occur regardless of inflammatory responses (3). In addition, a TRPA1 antibody proved that TRPA1 alerts the central nervous system of chronic itch signals, a concept also explored by Lui B et al. When the TRPA1 ion channel senses damage, it is desensitized and suppressed by warmth, indicative of the success of heat therapy (4). Overall, the use of primary TRPA1 antibodies is a well validated approach in the investigation of sensation.

Novus Biologicals offers TRPA1 reagents for your research needs including:


  1. PMID: 21558163
  2. PMID: 23020579
  3. PMID: 23722916
  4. PMID: 22458587

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