Ageing is associated with increased vulnerability to environmental cold exposure. Previ-ously, we identified the role of the cold-sensitive transient receptor potential (TRP) A1, M8 receptors as vascular cold sensors in mouse skin. We hypothesised that this dynamic cold-sensor system may become dysfunctional in ageing. We show that behavioural and vascular responses to skin local environmental cooling are impaired with even moderate ageing, with reduced TRPM8 gene/protein expression especially. Pharmacological blockade of the residual TRPA1/TRPM8 component substantially diminished the response in aged, compared with young mice. This implies the reliance of the already reduced cold-induced vascular response in ageing mice on remaining TRP receptor activity. Moreover, sympathetic-induced vasoconstriction was reduced with downregulation of the α 2c adre-noceptor expression in ageing. The cold-induced vascular response is important for sensing cold and retaining body heat and health. These findings reveal that cold sensors, essential for this neuro-vascular pathway, decline as ageing onsets.
- TRPM8 vascular, cold