Ion channels are at the basis of the sensory processes including mechanosensing. Some members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel superfamily have been proposed as mechanosensors, but their putative role in mechanotransduction is controversial. Among them there are TRP canonical 6 (TRPC6) and TRP vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) ion channels, which are known to cooperate in mechanical hyperalgesia. Here, we investigated the occurrence, distribution, and possible colocalization of TRPC6 and TRPV4 in human digital Meissner sensory corpuscles using immunohistochemistry and double immunofluorescence (associate with markers for specific corpuscular constituents). TRPC6 immunoreactivity was restricted to the axon of Meissner corpuscles, whereas TRPV4 was detected in the axon but also in the lamellar cells. Moreover, axonal colocalization of TRPV4 and TRPC6 was found in the digital Meissner corpuscles. Present results demonstrate for the first time the occurrence and colocalization of two ion channels candidates to mechanosensors in human cutaneous mechanoreceptors. The functional significance of these ion channels in that place remains to be clarified, but should be related to different properties of mechanosensitivity. Anat Rec, 300:1022-1031, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Keywords: Meissner corpuscles; human; mechanosensing; transient receptor potential ion channels.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.