The TRPV1 channel regulates glucose metabolism

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Oct 1;317(4):E667-E676. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00102.2019. Epub 2019 Aug 13.


Endocannabinoids (ECs) mediate effects via cannabinoid receptor types 1 and 2 (CB1 and 2) and transient receptor potential channel-vanilloid subfamily member 1 (TRPV1) channels. In high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice overactivity of the EC system and inhibition of CB1 increase skeletal muscle glucose uptake. We explored the role of TRPV1. Male TRPV1+/+(WT) and TRPV1-/-(KO)-mice were fed (20 wk) a standard laboratory diet (SLD) or HFD. An intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test was performed. RT-PCR was performed to measure mRNA of genes involved in glucose/lipid metabolism and the EC system in soleus (SOL) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles. Cultured L6 cells were used to measure glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. HFD mice weighed more and had higher insulin levels than SLD mice, with no genotype differences. Basal and peak glucose were higher in HFD mice irrespective of genotype, but glucose cleared faster in HFD WT vs. HFD KO-mice. 2-Arachidonoylglycerol augmented insulin-induced glucose uptake in skeletal L6-cells, an effect blocked by the TRPV1 antagonist SB-366791. In EDL, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) mRNA was increased in KO vs. WT mice, irrespective of diet. Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isozyme 4 (PDK4) and mitochondrial uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) were elevated and FA desaturase 2 (FADS2) mRNA lower in HFD mice, irrespective of genotype. CB1 and stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) were lower in HFD WT mice only. In SOL, PDK4, UCP3, hormone-sensitive lipase (LIPE), fatty acid translocase (CD36), and carnitine palmitoyl transferase 2 (CPT2) were elevated and SCD1, FAAH, FADS2, and Troponin 1 (TNNC1) mRNA lower in HFD mice, irrespective of genotype. In conclusion, TRPV1 regulates glucose disposal in HFD mice. We propose that TRPV1 plays a role in coordinating glucose metabolism in EDL under conditions of metabolic stress.

Keywords: TRPV1; extensor digitorum longus; high-fat diet; metabolism; soleus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anilides / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acids / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cinnamates / pharmacology
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Endocannabinoids / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Glycerides / pharmacology
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • TRPV Cation Channels / antagonists & inhibitors
  • TRPV Cation Channels / metabolism*


  • Anilides
  • Arachidonic Acids
  • Cinnamates
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Glycerides
  • N-(3-methoxyphenyl)-4-chlorocinnamanilide
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • TRPV1 protein, mouse
  • glyceryl 2-arachidonate
  • Glucose