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Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Jul;131(1):142-70. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2011.03.006. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels as drug targets for diseases of the digestive system.

Author information

1
Research Unit of Translational Neurogastroenterology, Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 4, A-8010 Graz, Austria. peter.holzer@medunigraz.at

Abstract

Approximately 20 of the 30 mammalian transient receptor potential (TRP) channel subunits are expressed by specific neurons and cells within the alimentary canal. They subserve important roles in taste, chemesthesis, mechanosensation, pain and hyperalgesia and contribute to the regulation of gastrointestinal motility, absorptive and secretory processes, blood flow, and mucosal homeostasis. In a cellular perspective, TRP channels operate either as primary detectors of chemical and physical stimuli, as secondary transducers of ionotropic or metabotropic receptors, or as ion transport channels. The polymodal sensory function of TRPA1, TRPM5, TRPM8, TRPP2, TRPV1, TRPV3 and TRPV4 enables the digestive system to survey its physical and chemical environment, which is relevant to all processes of digestion. TRPV5 and TRPV6 as well as TRPM6 and TRPM7 contribute to the absorption of Ca²⁺ and Mg²⁺, respectively. TRPM7 participates in intestinal pacemaker activity, and TRPC4 transduces muscarinic acetylcholine receptor activation to smooth muscle contraction. Changes in TRP channel expression or function are associated with a variety of diseases/disorders of the digestive system, notably gastro-esophageal reflux disease, inflammatory bowel disease, pain and hyperalgesia in heartburn, functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome, cholera, hypomagnesemia with secondary hypocalcemia, infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, esophageal, gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancer, and polycystic liver disease. These implications identify TRP channels as promising drug targets for the management of a number of gastrointestinal pathologies. As a result, major efforts are put into the development of selective TRP channel agonists and antagonists and the assessment of their therapeutic potential.

PMID:
21420431
PMCID:
PMC3107431
DOI:
10.1016/j.pharmthera.2011.03.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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