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Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Feb;133(2):189-204. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2011.10.008. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

TRPA1 antagonists as potential analgesic drugs.

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1
Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Abstract

The necessity of safe and effective treatments for chronic pain has intensified the search for new analgesic drugs. In the last few years, members of a closely-related family of ion channels, called transient receptor potential (TRP) have been identified in different cell types and their functions in physiological and pathological conditions have been characterized. The transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), originally called ANKTM1 (ankyrin-like with transmembrane domains protein 1), is a molecule that has been conserved in different species during evolution; TRPA1 is a cation channel that functions as a cellular sensor, detecting mechanical, chemical and thermal stimuli, being a component of neuronal, epithelial, blood and smooth muscle tissues. In mammals, TRPA1 is largely expressed in primary sensory neurons that mediate somatosensory processes and nociceptive transmission. Recent studies have described the role of TRPA1 in inflammatory and neuropathic pain. However, its participation in cold sensation has not been agreed in different studies. In this review, we focus on data that support the relevance of the activation and blockade of TRPA1 in pain transmission, as well as the mechanisms underlying its activation and modulation by exogenous and endogenous stimuli. We also discuss recent advances in the search for new analgesic medicines targeting the TRPA1 channel.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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