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Review
, 85, 151-7

"Hotheaded": The Role OF TRPV1 in Brain Functions

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Review

"Hotheaded": The Role OF TRPV1 in Brain Functions

D Martins et al. Neuropharmacology.

Abstract

The TRPV1 (vanilloid 1) channel is best known for its role in sensory transmission in the nociceptive neurons of the peripheral nervous system. Although first studied in the dorsal root ganglia as the receptor for capsaicin, TRPV1 has been recently recognized to have a broader distribution in the central nervous system, where it is likely to constitute an atypical neurotransmission system involved in several functions through modulation of both neuronal and glial activities. The endovanilloid-activated brain TRPV1 channels seem to be involved in somatosensory, motor and visceral functions. Recent studies suggested that TRPV1 channels also account for more complex functions, as addiction, anxiety, mood and cognition/learning. However, more studies are needed before the relevance of TRPV1 in brain activity can be clearly stated. This review highlights the increasing importance of TRPV1 as a regulator of brain function and discusses possible bases for the future development of new therapeutic approaches that by targeting brain TRPV1 receptors might be used for the treatment of several neurological disorders.

Keywords: Addictive behavior; Anxiety; Cognition; Motor disturbances; Pain; Synaptic plasticity; TRPV1; Temperature control.

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