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Possible Consequences of Blocking Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1

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The cloning of the first sensory Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channel, TRPVanilloid 1 (TRPV1) in 1997, initiated a new era of pain research and coincided with the Decade of Pain Control and Research promulgated by the United States Congress. When cloned, TRPV1 channel was shown to be predominantly expressed in nociceptors (C- and A -fibers) and are activated by physical and chemical stimuli. Channel function can be amplified by transcriptional upregulation and posttranslational modification by proinflammatory agents. Indeed, TRPV1 gene disruption confirms that it is involved in transmitting inflammatory thermal hypersensitivity, but not acute thermal or mechanical pain sensitivity. Based on its distribution and functions, TRPV1 is considered as an ideal target for developing small molecule antagonists. Now, there is a growing body of evidence that TRPV1 is expressed in non-sensory neurons and non-neuronal cells. This raises the possibility of unwanted effects that may result from targeting TRPV1. A major consequence of TRPV1 blockade that has come to light in clinical trials following administration of antagonists is hyperthermia. This observation has threatened the abandonment of TRPV1 antagonists, although they are proven to be useful in certain modalities of pain. In this review, we will discuss the expression and functions of TRPV1 in various organ systems and highlight the consequences that might be associated with blocking the receptor.

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in both pre-clinical and clinical areas of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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