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Neuron. 2006 Apr 20;50(2):277-89.

TRPA1 contributes to cold, mechanical, and chemical nociception but is not essential for hair-cell transduction.

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Department of Neurobiology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


TRPA1, a member of the transient receptor potential (TRP) family of ion channels, is expressed by dorsal root ganglion neurons and by cells of the inner ear, where it has proposed roles in sensing sound, painful cold, and irritating chemicals. To test the in vivo roles of TRPA1, we generated a mouse in which the essential exons required for proper function of the Trpa1 gene were deleted. Knockout mice display behavioral deficits in response to mustard oil, to cold ( approximately 0 degrees C), and to punctate mechanical stimuli. These mice have a normal startle reflex to loud noise, a normal sense of balance, a normal auditory brainstem response, and normal transduction currents in vestibular hair cells. TRPA1 is apparently not essential for hair-cell transduction but contributes to the transduction of mechanical, cold, and chemical stimuli in nociceptor sensory neurons.

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