Heat sensitization in skin and muscle nociceptors expressing distinct combinations of TRPV1 and TRPV2 protein.

Academic Article


  • Recordings were made from small and medium diameter dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons that expressed transient receptor potential (TRP) proteins. Physiologically characterized skin nociceptors expressed either TRPV1 (type 2) or TRPV2 (type 4) in isolation. Other nociceptors co-expressed both TRP proteins and innervated deep tissue sites (gastrocnemius muscle, distal colon; type 5, type 8) and skin (type 8). Subpopulations of myelinated (type 8) and unmyelinated (type 5) nociceptors co-expressed both TRPs. Cells that expressed TRPV1 were excellent transducers of intense heat. Proportional inward currents were obtained from a threshold of approximately 46.5 to approximately 56 degrees C. In contrast, cells expressing TRPV2 alone (52 degrees C threshold) did not reliably transduce the intensity of thermal events. Studies were undertaken to assess the capacity of skin and deep nociceptors to exhibit sensitization to repeated intense thermal stimuli [heat-heat sensitization (HHS)]. Only nociceptors that expressed TRPV2, alone or in combination with TRPV1, exhibited HHS. HHS was shown to be Ca(2+) dependent in either case. Intracellular Ca(2+) dependent pathways to HHS varied with the pattern of TRP protein expression. Cells co-expressing both TRPs modulated heat reactivity through serine/threonine phosphorylation or PLA(2)-dependent pathways. Cells expressing only TRPV2 may have relied on tyrosine kinases for HHS. We conclude that heat sensitization in deep and superficial capsaicin and capsaicin-insensitive C and Adelta nociceptors varies with the distribution of TRPV1 and TRPV2 proteins. The expression pattern of these proteins are specific to subclasses of physiologically identified C and A fiber nociceptors with highly restricted tissue targets.
  • Authors

    Published In


  • Animals, Capsaicin, Colon, Histocytochemistry, Hot Temperature, Male, Muscle, Skeletal, Muscle, Smooth, Muscles, Nerve Fibers, Myelinated, Nerve Fibers, Unmyelinated, Neurofilament Proteins, Neurons, Afferent, Nociceptors, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Signal Transduction, Skin, TRPV Cation Channels
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 21745311
  • Author List

  • Rau KK; Jiang N; Johnson RD; Cooper BY
  • Start Page

  • 2651
  • End Page

  • 2662
  • Volume

  • 97
  • Issue

  • 4