A Sensory-Labeled Line for Cold: TRPM8-Expressing Sensory Neurons Define the Cellular Basis for Cold, Cold Pain, and Cooling-Mediated Analgesia
ABSTRACT Many primary sensory neurons are polymodal, responding to multiple stimulus modalities (chemical, thermal, or mechanical), yet each modality is recognized differently. Although polymodality implies that stimulus encoding occurs in higher centers, such as the spinal cord or brain, recent sensory neuron ablation studies find that behavioral responses to different modalities require distinct subpopulations, suggesting the existence of modality-specific labeled lines at the level of the sensory afferent. Here we provide evidence that neurons expressing TRPM8, a cold- and menthol-gated channel required for normal cold responses in mammals, represents a labeled line solely for cold sensation. We examined the behavioral significance of conditionally ablating TRPM8-expressing neurons in adult mice, finding that, like animals lacking TRPM8 channels (Trpm8(-/-)), animals depleted of TRPM8 neurons ("ablated") are insensitive to cool to painfully cold temperatures. Ablated animals showed little aversion to noxious cold and did not distinguish between cold and a preferred warm temperature, a phenotype more profound than that of Trpm8(-/-) mice which exhibit only partial cold-avoidance and -preference behaviors. In addition to acute responses, cold pain associated with inflammation and nerve injury was significantly attenuated in ablated and Trpm8(-/-) mice. Moreover, cooling-induced analgesia after nerve injury was abolished in both genotypes. Last, heat, mechanical, and proprioceptive behaviors were normal in ablated mice, demonstrating that TRPM8 neurons are dispensable for other somatosensory modalities. Together, these data show that, although some limited cold sensitivity remains in Trpm8(-/-) mice, TRPM8 neurons are required for the breadth of behavioral responses evoked by cold temperatures.
SourceAvailable from: Aisah Aubdool[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The cold-induced vascular response, consisting of vasoconstriction followed by vasodilatation, is critical for protecting the cutaneous tissues against cold injury. Whilst this physiological reflex response is historic knowledge, the mechanisms involved are unclear. Here by using a murine model of local environmental cold exposure, we show that TRPA1 acts as a primary vascular cold sensor, as determined through TRPA1 pharmacological antagonism or gene deletion. The initial cold-induced vasoconstriction is mediated via TRPA1-dependent superoxide production that stimulates α2C-adrenoceptors and Rho-kinase-mediated MLC phosphorylation, downstream of TRPA1 activation. The subsequent restorative blood flow component is also dependent on TRPA1 activation being mediated by sensory nerve-derived dilator neuropeptides CGRP and substance P, and also nNOS-derived NO. The results allow a new understanding of the importance of TRPA1 in cold exposure and provide impetus for further research into developing therapeutic agents aimed at the local protection of the skin in disease and adverse climates.Nature Communications 12/2014; DOI:10.1038/ncomms6732 · 10.74 Impact Factor
Article: ThermoTRPs and Pain.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The ability of the body to perceive noxious stimuli lies in a heterogeneous group of primary somatosensory neurons termed nociceptors. The molecular receptors of noxious mechanical, temperature, or chemical stimuli are expressed in these neurons and have drawn considerable attention as possible targets for analgesic development to improve treatment for the millions who suffer from chronic pain conditions. A number of thermoTRPs, a subset of the transient receptor potential family of ion channels, are activated by a wide range on noxious stimuli. In this review, we review the function of these channels and examine the evidence that thermoTRPs play a vital role in acute, inflammatory and neuropathic nociception. © The Author(s) 2015.
Article: Perception of Trigeminal Mixtures[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The trigeminal system is a chemical sense allowing for the perception of chemosensory information in our environment. However, contrary to smell and taste, we lack a thorough understanding of the trigeminal processing of mixtures. We, therefore, investigated trigeminal perception using mixtures of 3 relatively receptor-specific agonists together with one control odor in different proportions to determine basic perceptual dimensions of trigeminal perception. We found that 4 main dimensions were linked to trigeminal perception: sensations of intensity, warmth, coldness, and pain. We subsequently investigated perception of binary mixtures of trigeminal stimuli by means of these 4 perceptual dimensions using different concentrations of a cooling stimulus (eucalyptol) mixed with a stimulus that evokes warmth perception (cinnamaldehyde). To determine if sensory interactions are mainly of central or peripheral origin, we presented stimuli in a physical "mixture" or as a "combination" presented separately to individual nostrils. Results showed that mixtures generally yielded higher ratings than combinations on the trigeminal dimensions "intensity," "warm," and "painful," whereas combinations yielded higher ratings than mixtures on the trigeminal dimension "cold." These results suggest dimension-specific interactions in the perception of trigeminal mixtures, which may be explained by particular interactions that may take place on peripheral or central levels. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.Chemical Senses 12/2014; 40(1). DOI:10.1093/chemse/bju064 · 3.28 Impact Factor