Role of calcium ions in the positive interaction between TRPA1 and TRPV1 channels in bronchopulmonary sensory neurons

Chun Chun Hsu, Lu Yuan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Both transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) and vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) receptors are abundantly expressed in bronchopulmonary C-fiber sensory nerves and can be activated by a number of endogenous inflammatory mediators. A recent study has reported a synergistic effect of simultaneous TRPA1 and TRPV1 activations in vagal pulmonary C-fiber afferents in anesthetized rats, but its underlying mechanism was not known. This study aimed to characterize a possible interaction between these two TRP channels and to investigate the potential role of Ca2+ as a mediator of this interaction in isolated rat vagal pulmonary sensory neurons. Using the perforated patch-clamp recording technique, our study demonstrated a distinct positive interaction occurring abruptly between TRPA1 and TRPV1 when they were activated simultaneously by their respective agonists, capsaicin (Cap) and allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), at near-threshold concentrations in these neurons. AITC at this low concentration evoked only minimal or undetectable responses, but it markedly amplified the Cap-evoked current in the same neurons. This potentiating effect was eliminated when either AITC or Cap was replaced by non-TRPA1 and non-TRPV1 chemical activators of these neurons, demonstrating the selectivity of the interaction between these two TRP channels. Furthermore, when Ca2+ was removed from the extracellular solution, the synergistic effect of Cap and AITC on pulmonary sensory neurons was completely abrogated, clearly indicating a critical role of Ca2+ in mediating the action. These results suggest that this TRPA1-TRPV1 interaction may play a part in regulating the sensitivity of pulmonary sensory neurons during airway inflammatory reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1533-1543
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.


  • Airway
  • Inflammation
  • Sensory nerve
  • Transient receptor potential ankyrin 1
  • Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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