TRPV4 is a nonselective cation channel that belongs to the vanilloid (V) subfamily of transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels. While TRP channels have been found to be involved in sensing temperature, light, pressure, and chemical stimuli, TPRV4 is believed to be primarily a mechanosensor although it can also respond to warm temperatures, acidic pH, and several chemical compounds. In zebrafish, the expression of trpv4 has been studied during embryonic development, whereas its pattern of TPRV4 expression during the adult life has not been thoroughly analyzed. In this study, the occurrence of TRPV4 was addressed in the zebrafish sensory organs at the mRNA (RT-PCR) and protein (Westernblot) levels. Once the occurrence of TRPV4 was demonstrated, the TRPV4 positive cells were identified by using immunohistochemistry. TPRV4 was detected in mantle and sensory cells of neuromasts, in a subpopulation of hair sensory cells in the macula and in the cristae ampullaris of the inner ear, in sensory cells in the taste buds, in crypt neurons and ciliated sensory neurons of the olfactory epithelium, and in cells of the retina. These results demonstrate the presence of TRPV4 in all sensory organs of adult zebrafish and are consistent with the multiple physiological functions suspected for TRPV4 in mammals (mechanosensation, hearing, and temperature sensing), but furthermore suggest potential roles in olfaction and vision in zebrafish.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.