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Am J Neurodegener Dis. 2012;1(1):1-14. Epub 2012 Apr 1.

TRPV1: a stress response protein in the central nervous system.

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The Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37205, USA.


The transient receptor potential (TRP) family comprises a diverse group of cation channels that regulate a variety of intracellular signaling pathways. The TRPV1 (vanilloid 1) channel is best known for its role in nociception and sensory transmission. First studied in the dorsal root ganglia as the receptor for capsaicin, TRPV1 is now recognized to have a broader distribution and function within the central nervous system (CNS). Because it can be activated by a range of potentially noxious stimuli, TRPV1's polymodal nature and ability to interact with other receptor pathways make it a candidate for a stress response protein. As a result, TRPV1 is emerging as a key mediator of CNS function through modulation of both glial and neuronal activity. Growing evidence has suggested that TRPV1 can mediate a variety of pathways from glial reactivity and cytokine release to synaptic transmission and plasticity. This review highlights the increasing importance of TRPV1 as a regulator of CNS function in response to stress.


CNS; Huntington’s Disease; TRP channel; TRPV1; capsaicin; glia; neurodegeneration; neuron; plasticity; synaptic transmission


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