The functions of TRPA1 and TRPV1: moving away from sensory nerves


Dr Julie Elizabeth Keeble, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College London, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH, UK. E-mail:


The transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 and ankyrin 1 (TRPV1 and TRPA1, respectively) channels are members of the TRP superfamily of structurally related, non-selective cation channels. It is rapidly becoming clear that the functions of TRPV1 and TRPA1 interlink with each other to a considerable extent. This is especially clear in relation to pain and neurogenic inflammation where TRPV1 is coexpressed on the vast majority of TRPA1-expressing sensory nerves and both integrate a variety of noxious stimuli. The more recent discovery that both TRPV1 and TRPA1 are expressed on a multitude of non-neuronal sites has led to a plethora of research into possible functions of these receptors. Non-neuronal cells on which TRPV1 and TRPA1 are expressed vary from vascular smooth muscle to keratinocytes and endothelium. This review will discuss the expression, functionality and roles of these non-neuronal TRP channels away from sensory nerves to demonstrate the diverse nature of TRPV1 and TRPA1 in addition to a direct role in pain and neurogenic inflammation.