Functional vanilloid receptors in cultured normal human epidermal keratinocytes

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Feb 15;291(1):124-9. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.2002.6393.


Vanilloid receptor subtype 1, VR1, is an ion channel that serves as a polymodal detector of pain-producing chemicals such as capsaicin and protons in primary afferent neurons. Here we showed that both capsaicin and acidification produced elevations in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) in cultured human epidermal keratinocytes. The capsaicin- and acidification-evoked increases in [Ca(2+)](i) were inhibited by capsazepine, an antagonist to VR1. VR1-like immunoreactivity was observed in the cells. These findings suggest that functional VR1-like protein is present and functions as a sensor against noxious chemical stimuli, such as capsaicin or acidification, in epidermal keratinocytes.

MeSH terms

  • Acids / pharmacology
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Capsaicin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epidermal Cells
  • Epidermis / drug effects
  • Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration / drug effects
  • Intracellular Fluid / metabolism
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Drug / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Drug / metabolism*


  • Acids
  • Receptors, Drug
  • capsazepine
  • Capsaicin
  • Calcium