Species-specific pharmacology of Trichloro(sulfanyl)ethyl benzamides as transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) antagonists

Mol Pain. 2007 Dec 17;3:39. doi: 10.1186/1744-8069-3-39.


Agonists of TRPA1 such as mustard oil and its key component AITC cause pain and neurogenic inflammation in humans and pain behavior in rodents. TRPA1 is activated by numerous reactive compounds making it a sensor for reactive compounds in the body. Failure of AITC, formalin and other reactive compounds to trigger pain behavior in TRPA1 knockout mice, as well as the ability of TRPA1 antisense to alleviate cold hyperalgesia after spinal nerve ligation, suggest that TRPA1 is a potential target for novel analgesic agents. Here, we have characterized CHO cells expressing human and rat TRPA1 driven by an inducible promoter. As reported previously, both human and rat TRPA1 are activated by AITC and inhibited by ruthenium red. We have also characterized noxious cold response of these cell lines and show that noxious cold activates both human and rat TRPA1. Further, we have used CHO cells expressing human TRPA1 to screen a small molecule compound library and discovered that 'trichloro(sulfanyl)ethyl benzamides' (AMG2504, AMG5445, AMG7160 and AMG9090) act as potent antagonists of human TRPA1 activated by AITC and noxious cold. However, trichloro(sulfanyl)ethyl benzamides' (TCEB compounds) displayed differential pharmacology at rat TRPA1. AMG2504 and AMG7160 marginally inhibited rat TRPA1 activation by AITC, whereas AMG5445 and AMG9090 acted as partial agonists. In summary, we conclude that both human and rat TRPA1 channels show similar AITC and noxious cold activation profiles, but TCEB compounds display species-specific differential pharmacology at TRPA1.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzamides / chemistry
  • Benzamides / pharmacology*
  • CHO Cells / drug effects
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Isotopes / metabolism
  • Capsaicin / metabolism
  • Cold Temperature / adverse effects
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Isothiocyanates / pharmacology
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / methods
  • Rats
  • Species Specificity
  • Transfection
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels / genetics


  • Benzamides
  • Calcium Isotopes
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels
  • 2,3,4-tri-O-acetylarabinopyranosyl isothiocyanate
  • Capsaicin
  • Calcium