Purpose: Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a pharmacogenetic disorder arising from uncontrolled muscle calcium release due to an abnormality in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) calcium-release mechanism triggered by halogenated inhalational anesthetics. However, the molecular mechanisms involved are still incomplete.
Methods: We aimed to identify transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) variants within the entire coding sequence in patients who developed sensitivity to MH of unknown etiology. In vitro and in vivo functional studies were performed in heterologous expression system, trpv1-/- mice, and a murine model of human MH.
Results: We identified TRPV1 variants in two patients and their heterologous expression in muscles of trpv1-/- mice strongly enhanced calcium release from SR upon halogenated anesthetic stimulation, suggesting they could be responsible for the MH phenotype. We confirmed the in vivo significance by using mice with a knock-in mutation (Y524S) in the type I ryanodine receptor (Ryr1), a mutation analogous to the Y522S mutation associated with MH in humans. We showed that the TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine slows the heat-induced hypermetabolic response in this model.
Conclusion: We propose that TRPV1 contributes to MH and could represent an actionable therapeutic target for prevention of the pathology and also be responsible for MH sensitivity when mutated.
Keywords: Calcium; Hereditary disease; Malignant hyperthermia; TRP channel; TRPV1.