Role of TRPV ion channels in sensory transduction of osmotic stimuli in mammals

Exp Physiol. 2007 May;92(3):507-12. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.2006.035642. Epub 2007 Mar 9.


In signal transduction of metazoan cells, ion channels of the family of transient receptor potential (TRP) have been identified to respond to diverse external and internal stimuli, amongst them osmotic stimuli. This report highlights findings pertaining to the TRPV subfamily, focusing on mammalian members. Of the six mammalian TRPV channels, TRPV1, 2 and 4 were demonstrated to function in transduction of osmotic stimuli. TRPV channels have been found to function in cellular as well as systemic osmotic homeostasis. In a striking example of evolutionary conservation of function, mammalian TRPV4 has been found to rescue osmosensory deficits of the TRPV mutant strain osm-9 in Caenorhabditis elegans, despite not more than 26% orthology of the respective proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mammals / genetics
  • Mammals / physiology
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Osmosis / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • TRPV Cation Channels / genetics
  • TRPV Cation Channels / physiology*


  • TRPV Cation Channels