Neuropsychiatric implications of transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) channels in the reward system

Neurochem Int. 2019 Dec:131:104545. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2019.104545. Epub 2019 Sep 5.


Neuropsychiatric disorders (NPDs) exert a devastating impact on an individual's personal and social well-being, encompassing various conditions and brain anomalies that influence affect, cognition, and behavior. Because the pathophysiology of NPDs is multifactorial, the precise mechanisms underlying the development of such disorders remain unclear, representing a unique challenge in current neuropsychopharmacotherapy. Transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) type channels are a family of ligand-gated ion channels that mainly include sensory receptors that respond to thermal, mechanical and chemical stimuli. TRPV channels are abundantly present in dopaminergic neurons, thus playing a pivotal role in the modulation of the reward system and in pathophysiology of diseases such as stress, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, neurodegenerative disorders and substance abuse/addiction. Recent evidence has highlighted TRPV channels as potential targets for understanding modulation of the reward system and various forms of addiction (opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, alcohol, nicotine, cannabis). In this review, we discuss the distribution, physiological roles, ligands and therapeutic importance of TRPV channels with regard to NPDs and addiction biology.

Keywords: Addiction; Alcohol; Cannabinoids; Food reward; Opioids; TRPV channels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Addictive / drug therapy*
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Mental Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Reward*
  • TRPV Cation Channels / drug effects
  • TRPV Cation Channels / physiology*


  • TRPV Cation Channels