TRP channels: targets for the relief of pain

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Aug;1772(8):989-1003. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2007.01.008. Epub 2007 Jan 23.


Patients with inflammatory or neuropathic pain experience hypersensitivity to mechanical, thermal and/or chemical stimuli. Given the diverse etiologies and molecular mechanisms of these pain syndromes, an approach to developing successful therapies may be to target ion channels that contribute to the detection of thermal, mechanical and chemical stimuli and promote the sensitization and activation of nociceptors. Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels have emerged as a family of evolutionarily conserved ligand-gated ion channels that contribute to the detection of physical stimuli. Six TRPs (TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV3, TRPV4, TRPM8 and TRPA1) have been shown to be expressed in primary afferent nociceptors, pain sensing neurons, where they act as transducers for thermal, chemical and mechanical stimuli. This short review focuses on their contribution to pain hypersensitivity associated with peripheral inflammatory and neuropathic pain states.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / chemical synthesis
  • Analgesics / metabolism*
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism
  • Calcium Channels / physiology
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / agonists
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • TRPA1 Cation Channel
  • TRPM Cation Channels / agonists
  • TRPM Cation Channels / metabolism
  • TRPM Cation Channels / physiology
  • TRPV Cation Channels / agonists
  • TRPV Cation Channels / metabolism
  • TRPV Cation Channels / physiology
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels / agonists
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels / metabolism*
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels / physiology*


  • Analgesics
  • Calcium Channels
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • TRPA1 Cation Channel
  • TRPA1 protein, human
  • TRPM Cation Channels
  • TRPM8 protein, human
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels