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A TRP channel that senses cold stimuli and menthol.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cell
0092-8674
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
108
Issue
5
Pages
705–715
Identifiers
PMID: 11893340
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

A distinct subset of sensory neurons are thought to directly sense changes in thermal energy through their termini in the skin. Very little is known about the molecules that mediate thermoreception by these neurons. Vanilloid Receptor 1 (VR1), a member of the TRP family of channels, is activated by noxious heat. Here we describe the cloning and characterization of TRPM8, a distant relative of VR1. TRPM8 is specifically expressed in a subset of pain- and temperature-sensing neurons. Cells overexpressing the TRPM8 channel can be activated by cold temperatures and by a cooling agent, menthol. Our identification of a cold-sensing TRP channel in a distinct subpopulation of sensory neurons implicates an expanded role for this family of ion channels in somatic sensory detection.

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