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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Aug;1772(8):989-1003. Epub 2007 Jan 23.

TRP channels: targets for the relief of pain.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Box 0440, University of California, San Francisco, 521 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143-0440, USA.


Patients with inflammatory or neuropathic pain experience hypersensitivity to mechanical, thermal and/or chemical stimuli. Given the diverse etiologies and molecular mechanisms of these pain syndromes, an approach to developing successful therapies may be to target ion channels that contribute to the detection of thermal, mechanical and chemical stimuli and promote the sensitization and activation of nociceptors. Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels have emerged as a family of evolutionarily conserved ligand-gated ion channels that contribute to the detection of physical stimuli. Six TRPs (TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV3, TRPV4, TRPM8 and TRPA1) have been shown to be expressed in primary afferent nociceptors, pain sensing neurons, where they act as transducers for thermal, chemical and mechanical stimuli. This short review focuses on their contribution to pain hypersensitivity associated with peripheral inflammatory and neuropathic pain states.

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