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Annu Rev Neurosci. 2006;29:135-61.

Trp ion channels and temperature sensation.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


The abilities to sense environmental and internal temperatures are required for survival, both for maintenance of homeostasis and for avoidance of tissue-damaging noxious temperatures. Vertebrates can sense external physical stimuli via specialized classes of neurons in the peripheral nervous system that project to the skin. Temperature-sensitive neurons can be divided into two classes: innocuous thermosensors (warm or cool) and noxious thermonociceptors (hot or cold). ThermoTRPs, a subset of the transient receptor potential family of ion channels, which are expressed in sensory nerve endings and in skin, respond to distinct thermal thresholds. In this review, we examine the extent to which thermoTRPs are responsible for providing a molecular basis for thermal sensation.

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