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J Dermatol Sci. 2012 Feb;65(2):81-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2011.11.003. Epub 2011 Nov 18.

The role of TRPV1 channel in aged human skin.

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Department of Dermatology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Republic of Korea.


Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is a member of the nonselective cationic channel family. Activation of TRPV1 induces an influx of divalent and monovalent cations (i.e., Ca(2+), Na(+), and Mg(2+)) which are activated by capsaicin, heat, and acid. TRPV1 is known to be expressed in the epidermis, but little is known about the physiological significance and functional role of TRPV1 in skin. Recent studies suggested that heat- and ultraviolet (UV)-induced matrix metalloproteinases-1 (MMP-1) expression may be partly mediated by TRPV1 activation in human keratinocytes. Also, heat and UV increased expression of TRPV1 proteins in human skin in vivo. TRPV1 protein was expressed more in the sun-protected (upper-inner arm) skin of the elderly than in young subjects. In addition, the photoaged (forearm) skin of the elderly showed increased TRPV1 expression compared to sun-protected skin of the same individuals. The increased TRPV1 expression in the old skin implies that TRPV1 may be related to senile skin symptoms, such as senile pruritus and neurogenic inflammation. This review provides a summary of current researches on the role of TRPV1 channel in human skin, especially in aged skin.

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