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Pain. 2009 Jul;144(1-2):187-99. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2009.04.013. Epub 2009 May 15.

Differential regulation of TRP channels in a rat model of neuropathic pain.

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  • 1Department of Bioscience, AstraZeneca R&D Mölndal, 431 83 Mölndal, Sweden.


Neuropathic pain is a chronic disease resulting from dysfunction of the nervous system often due to peripheral nerve injury. Hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli (mechanical, thermal or chemical) is a common source of pain in patients and ion channels involved in detecting these stimuli are possible candidates for inducing and/or maintaining the pain. Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels expressed on nociceptors respond to different sensory stimuli and a few of them have been studied previously in the models of neuropathic pain. Using real-time PCR for quantification of all known TRP channels we identified several TRP channels, which have not been associated with nociception or neuropathic pain before, to be expressed in the DRG and to be differentially regulated after spared nerve injury (SNI). Of all TRP channel members, TRPML3 showed the most dramatic change in animals exhibiting neuropathic pain behaviour compared to control animals. In situ hybridisation showed a widespread increase of expression in neurons of small, medium and large cell sizes, indicating expression in multiple subtypes. Co-localisation of TRPML3 with CGRP, NF200 and IB4 staining confirmed a broad subtype distribution. Expression studies during development showed that TRPML3 is an embryonic channel that is induced upon nerve injury in three different nerve injury models investigated. Thus, the current results link for the first time a re-expression of TRPML3 with the development of neuropathic pain conditions. In addition, decreased mRNA levels after SNI were seen for TRPM6, TRPM8, TRPV1, TRPA1, TRPC3, TRPC4 and TRPC5.

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