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      Peripheral and spinal TRPA1 channels contribute to formalin-induced long-lasting mechanical hypersensitivity

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          Transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) is a non-selective cation channel expressed by a subset of nociceptive neurons that acts as a multimodal receptor. Its activity contributes to modulate nociceptive transmission in acute inflammatory pain. However, the role of this channel in chronic pain has been less studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the local peripheral and spinal participation of TRPA1 channels in formalin-induced long-lasting hypersensitivity.

          Materials and methods

          Formalin (1%)-induced chronic hypersensitivity was determined by the application of von Frey filaments to ipsilateral and contralateral paws and through pharmacological testing using a selective TRPA1 blocker (A-967079). TRPA1 expression in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal cord was analyzed by Western blotting.


          Formalin (1%) injection produced acute flinching behavior (1 h) as well as secondary allodynia and hyperalgesia (12 days). Local peripheral pretreatment (10 min before) or posttreatment (6 days later) with A-967079 (1–100 µM) partially prevented and reversed, respectively, in a dose-dependent manner, long-lasting secondary mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia evoked by 1% formalin. Likewise, intrathecal pretreatment or posttreatment with A-967079 partially prevented and reversed, respectively, formalin-induced long-lasting hypersensitivity. A-967079 (100 µM) completely abolished the pro-nociceptive effect of formalin (adjusted to pH 7.4). Finally, formalin injection increased TRPA1 protein expression in the DRG and spinal cord.


          Results indicate that TRPA1 expressed in the DRG and spinal cord plays a relevant role in formalin-induced long-lasting secondary nociceptive hypersensitivity.

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          Most cited references 55

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          Ethical guidelines for investigations of experimental pain in conscious animals.

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            TRPA1 mediates the inflammatory actions of environmental irritants and proalgesic agents.

            TRPA1 is an excitatory ion channel targeted by pungent irritants from mustard and garlic. TRPA1 has been proposed to function in diverse sensory processes, including thermal (cold) nociception, hearing, and inflammatory pain. Using TRPA1-deficient mice, we now show that this channel is the sole target through which mustard oil and garlic activate primary afferent nociceptors to produce inflammatory pain. TRPA1 is also targeted by environmental irritants, such as acrolein, that account for toxic and inflammatory actions of tear gas, vehicle exhaust, and metabolic byproducts of chemotherapeutic agents. TRPA1-deficient mice display normal cold sensitivity and unimpaired auditory function, suggesting that this channel is not required for the initial detection of noxious cold or sound. However, TRPA1-deficient mice exhibit pronounced deficits in bradykinin-evoked nociceptor excitation and pain hypersensitivity. Thus, TRPA1 is an important component of the transduction machinery through which environmental irritants and endogenous proalgesic agents depolarize nociceptors to elicit inflammatory pain.
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              ANKTM1, a TRP-like channel expressed in nociceptive neurons, is activated by cold temperatures.

              Mammals detect temperature with specialized neurons in the peripheral nervous system. Four TRPV-class channels have been implicated in sensing heat, and one TRPM-class channel in sensing cold. The combined range of temperatures that activate these channels covers a majority of the relevant physiological spectrum sensed by most mammals, with a significant gap in the noxious cold range. Here, we describe the characterization of ANKTM1, a cold-activated channel with a lower activation temperature compared to the cold and menthol receptor, TRPM8. ANKTM1 is a distant family member of TRP channels with very little amino acid similarity to TRPM8. It is found in a subset of nociceptive sensory neurons where it is coexpressed with TRPV1/VR1 (the capsaicin/heat receptor) but not TRPM8. Consistent with the expression of ANKTM1, we identify noxious cold-sensitive sensory neurons that also respond to capsaicin but not to menthol.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                27 December 2017
                : 11
                : 51-60
                [1 ]Departamento de Farmacobiología, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados (Cinvestav), Unidad Coapa, Ciudad de México
                [2 ]Laboratorio Mecanismos del Dolor, Centro de Investigación, División Académica de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco
                [3 ]Hospital Regional de Alta Especialidad “Dr. Juan Graham Casasús”, Villahermosa, Tabasco
                [4 ]Neurobiology of Pain Laboratory, Departamento de Farmacobiología, Cinvestav, Unidad Coapa, Ciudad de México, México
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Janet Murbartián, Departamento de Farmacobiología, Cinvestav, Unidad Coapa, Calzada de los Tenorios 235, Colonia Granjas Coapa, 14330 Ciudad de México, México, Email jmurbartian@ 123456gmail.com
                © 2018 Martínez-Rojas et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                trpa1, allodynia, hyperalgesia, formalin, chronic pain


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