Winter is coming, and TRPM8 welcomes the cold!

Fri, 10/14/2016 - 13:57

TRPM8, or transient receptor potential melastatin 8, is a nonselective cation channel that is activated by cold environments and menthol-like cooling compounds.  While TRPM8 is best known for its location in peripheral nerve endings, it has functionality both inside and out of the nervous system.  Within the nervous system, TRPM8 is responsible for our response to cold and or menthol like stimuli.  Our reaction to cold sensation is involved in a variety of processes and can be a part of reactions such as asthma.  Outside of the nervous system, TRPM8 has shown high expression in prostate cancer tumors and is thought to potentially play a role in prostate cancer cell migration.  The TRPM8 protein is composed of six transmembrane domains with a transient receptor potential (TRP) domain at the C-terminal end.  In addition to cold temperatures (below 26 degrees Celsius) and menthol like compounds, antagonists such as capsazepine (synthetic analog of capsaicin, a heat inducing compound) and BCTC (vanilloid receptor antagonist) have also been identified.  Using a TRPM8 antibody to identify ways to regulate TRPM8 activity is well documented, and the following publications go into more detail about the TRPM8 antibody

TRPM8 antibody

Immunohistochemistry: TRPM8 Antibody [NB200-145] - Prostate cancer: Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE)

Shuangtao Ma et al used a TRPM8 antibody in immunocytochemistry on adipose cells in order to understand how activating TRPM8 may trigger thermogenesis that ultimately prevents obesity.  First, adipocyte cells were introduced to the calcium indicator Fura-2 AM, where menthol (the TRPM8 antagonist) was subsequently introduced to measure calcium levels.  Next, a TRPM8 antibody was used on an adipose cell line in order to verify TRPM8 expression in cells outside of the nervous system.  The TRPM8 antibody confirmed that TRPM8 expression was possible and present in adipose cells, which led Shuangtao Ma’s group to find that this activation enhances UCP1-dependent thermogenesis.  Ultimately, this group concluded that dietary menthol administration increases thermogenesis through TRPM8-UCP1 activation, which in turn prevents weight gain.

Peabody et al used another interesting application of a TRPM8 antibody in their studies of wing expansion in Drosophila.  Wing expansion can be considered a neurobehavioral choice that may be a combined mixture of environmental and internal demands.  They found that wing expansion is initiated by stimulation of NCCAP, a small network of central neurons, where NCCAP stimulation is achieved by activated TRPM8.  This was determined after adult Drosophila were dissected, fixed, and stained with a TRPM8 antibody.  Next, confocal imaging was performed via z-series through the brain or ventral nerve cord.  The results established the presence of TRPM8 in the NCCAP area.  Overall, the TRPM8 antibody is useful in a variety of species in order to further elucidate the role of TRPM8 in physiological processes. 

Novus Biologicals offers TRPM8 reagents for your research needs including:

PMID: 22061619
PMID: 19295141
PMID: 22241835

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