TRPV channels as thermosensory receptors in epithelial cells

Pflugers Arch. 2005 Oct;451(1):160-7. doi: 10.1007/s00424-005-1438-y. Epub 2005 Jun 11.


Temperature-sensitive transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) ion channels are critical contributors to normal pain and temperature sensation and therefore represent attractive targets for pain therapy. When these channels were first discovered, most attention was focused on their potential contributions to direct thermal activation of peripheral sensory neurons. However, recent anatomical, physiological, and behavioral studies have provided evidence that TRPV channels expressed in skin epithelial cells may also contribute to thermosensation in vitro and in vivo. Here, we review these studies and speculate on possible communication mechanisms from cutaneous epithelial cells to sensory neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / physiology
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Keratinocytes / physiology
  • Mice
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology*
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • TRPV Cation Channels / physiology*
  • Temperature


  • Calcium Channels
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • TRPV1 protein, mouse
  • Trpv2 protein, mouse
  • Trpv3 protein, mouse
  • Trpv4 protein, mouse