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      TRPA1 in the spinal dorsal horn is involved in post-inflammatory visceral hypersensitivity: in vivo study using TNBS-treated rat model

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          The transient receptor potential ankyrin-1 (TRPA1) channel, a pain transducer and amplifier, is drawing increasing attention in the field of visceral hypersensitivity, commonly seen in irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. However, the role of TRPA1 in visceral nociception during post-inflammatory states is not well defined. Here, we explore the correlation between TRPA1 expression in the spinal dorsal horn (SDH) and persistent post-inflammatory visceral hypersensitivity.


          We injected rats intracolonically with 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) or vehicle (n=12 per group). Post-inflammatory visceral hypersensitivity was assessed by recording the electromyographic activity of the external oblique muscle in response to colorectal distension. TRPA1 expression and distribution in the spinal cord and colon were examined by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry.


          Animals exposed to TNBS had more abdominal contractions than vehicle-injected controls ( P<0.05), which corresponded to a lower nociceptive threshold. Expression of TRPA1 in the SDH (especially in the substantia gelatinosa) and the colon was significantly greater in the TNBS-treated group than in controls ( P<0.05). In the SDH, the number of TRPA1-immunopositive neurons was 25.75±5.12 in the control group and 34.25±7.89 in the TNBS-treated group ( P=0.023), and integrated optical density values of TRPA1 in the control and TNBS-treated groups were 14,544.63±6,525.54 and 22,532.75±7,608.11, respectively ( P=0.041).


          Our results indicate that upregulation of TRPA1 expression in the SDH is associated with persistent post-inflammatory visceral hypersensitivity in the rat and provides insight into potential therapeutic targets for the control of persistent visceral hypersensitivity.

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          Most cited references 31

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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.
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              Distinct expression of TRPM8, TRPA1, and TRPV1 mRNAs in rat primary afferent neurons with adelta/c-fibers and colocalization with trk receptors.

              The transient receptor potential (TRP) superfamily of cation channels contains four temperature-sensitive channels, named TRPV1-4, that are activated by heat stimuli from warm to that in the noxious range. Recently, two other members of this superfamily, TRPA1 and TRPM8, have been cloned and characterized as possible candidates for cold transducers in primary afferent neurons. Using in situ hybridization histochemistry and immunohistochemistry, we characterized the precise distribution of TRPA1, TRPM8, and TRPV1 mRNAs in the rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons. In the DRG, TRPM8 mRNA was not expressed in the TRPV1-expressing neuronal population, whereas TRPA1 mRNA was only seen in some neurons in this population. Both A-fiber and C-fiber neurons expressed TRPM8, whereas TRPV1 was almost exclusively seen in C-fiber neurons. All TRPM8-expressing neurons also expressed TrkA, whereas the expression of TRPV1 and TRPA1 was independent of TrkA expression. None of these three TRP channels were coexpressed with TrkB or TrkC. The TRPM8-expressing neurons were more abundant in the TG compared with the DRG, especially in the mandibular nerve region innervating the tongue. Our data suggest heterogeneity of TRPM8 and TRPA1 expression by subpopulations of primary afferent neurons, which may result in the difference of cold-sensitive primary afferent neurons in sensitivity to chemicals such as menthol and capsaicin and nerve growth factor. Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                02 December 2016
                : 9
                : 1153-1160
                [1 ]Department of Gastroenterology, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University
                [2 ]Department of Pathology, Medical School of Shandong University
                [3 ]Laboratory of Translational Gastroenterology, Shandong University, Qilu Hospital, Jinan, Shandong Province, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Wei Han, Department of Gastroenterology, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, 44 Wenhua West Road, Jinan 250012, Shandong Province, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 531 8216 9382, Fax +86 531 8838 2084, Email hanwei@ 123456sdu.edu.cn

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2016 Li 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.

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