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Inhibition of TRPV1 for the treatment of sensitive skin


Thomas Kueper, Mühlenfeldstraße 1, 37603 Holzminden, Germany, Tel.: +49(0)5531902490, Fax: +49(0)55319048193, e-mail:


Please cite this paper as: Inhibition of TRPV1 for the treatment of sensitive skin. Experimental Dermatology 2010; 19: 980–986.

Abstract:  During the past years, the topic sensitive skin became one of the most important fields in dermatology. The tremendous interest is based on several studies showing that about 50% of the population declares to have sensitive skin. The human thermoreceptor hTRPV1 was previously identified to contribute to this skin condition while facilitating neurogenic inflammation leading to hyperalgesia. Furthermore, skin sensitivity towards capsaicin, a natural activator of TRPV1, was shown to correlate with sensitive skin. In a screening campaign based on recombinant HEK293-cells stably transfected with hTRPV1, the selective antagonist trans-4-tert-butylcyclohexanol was identified. This antagonist is able to inhibit capsaicin-induced hTRPV1 activation with an IC50 value of 34 ± 5 μm tested in HEK293-cells as well as in electrophysiological recordings performed in oocytes expressing hTRPV1. Strikingly, in a clinical study with 30 women using topical treatment with o/w emulsions containing 31.6 ppm capsaicin, we were able to show that 0.4% of this inhibitor significantly reduces capsaicin-induced burning (P < 0.0001) in vivo. Thus trans-4-tert-butylcyclohexanol has the potential as a novel bioactive for the treatment of sensitive skin.