TRPV1: Show Me Where it Hurts

Mon, 07/01/2013 - 15:25

TRPV1 (transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily vanilloid member type 1) is a polymodal nociceptor that is commonly expressed in peripheral nerve endings and dorsal root ganglia. It is activated by heat, low pH, vanilloids, capsaicin, and other noxious stimuli and is involved in the transmission and modulation of pain. Not surprisingly, TRPV1 is directly related to hyperalgesia—increased sensitivity to pain—as hyperalgesia is significantly reduced when TRPV1 is genetically eliminated or pharmacologically blocked.

TRPV1 may play a particularly important role in inflammatory hyperalgesia, a specific subset of hyperalgesia that is triggered by increased activation of the inflammatory process.  Mechanistically, TRPV1 may drive inflammatory hyperalgesia via interaction with the synaptic signaling kinase, A kinase anchoring protein 79 (AKAP79). Current research is geared toward mapping the binding site of TRPV1 on AKAP79 with the aim of designing specific inhibitors of this interaction. TRPV1 and AKAP79 appear to interact on a specific region on AKAP79 (between amino acids 326-336). Interestingly, synthetic peptides designed to prevent the TRPV1-AKAP79 interaction in this region inhibit TRPV1’s effects and reduce sensitivity to pain. These findings demonstrate that further investigation of obstructing the TRPV1-AKAP79 interaction may prove beneficial in reducing inflammatory hyperalgesia (1).

Immunohistochemistry: TRPV1 Antibody Immunohistochemistry: TRPV1 Antibody

In addition to a role in pain modulation, recent literature has also demonstrated the importance of TRPV1 in other areas such as ocular physiology specifically in regard to water transport. TRPV1 is increasingly expressed in cells with predominantly high levels of Ca2+ exchange and water transport activity, indicating that TRPV1 functions in regulation of water and Ca2+ movements across ocular tissues (2). TRPV1 is present and active in human and rabbit eye cells and is found in all layers of the corneal epithelium, the basal layer of the conjunctiva, and the ciliary and lens epithelia in both species, as well as the secretory cells of the rabbit lacrimal gland. Both species tested positive for TRPV1 in the retinal pigment epithelium, yet to a lower concentration than the ocular tissues listed above.

  1. PMID: 23699529
  2. PMID: 23709255

Novus Biologicals offers various TRPV1 reagents for your research needs including:

Written by Kelsey Repine

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