Relevance of TRPA1 and TRPM8 channels as vascular sensors of cold in the cutaneous microvasculature

Y. Pan, D. Thapa, L. Baldissera Jr, F. Argunhan, A. A. Aubdool, S. D. Brain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Cold exposure is directly related to skin conditions, such as frostbite. This is due to the cold exposure inducing a vasoconstriction to reduce cutaneous blood flow and protect against heat loss. However, a long-term constriction will cause ischaemia and potentially irreversible damage. We have developed techniques to elucidate the mechanisms of the vascular cold response. We focused on two ligand-gated transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, namely, the established “cold sensors” TRP ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) and TRP melastin (TRPM8). We used the anaesthetised mouse and measured cutaneous blood flow by laser speckle imaging. Two cold treatments were used. A generalised cold treatment was achieved through whole paw water immersion (10 °C for 5 min) and a localised cold treatment that will be potentially easier to translate to human studies was carried out on the mouse paw with a copper cold probe (0.85-cm diameter). The results show that TRPA1 and TRPM8 can each act as a vascular cold sensor to mediate the vasoconstrictor component of whole paw cooling as expected from our previous research. However, the local cooling-induced responses were only blocked when the TRPA1 and TRPM8 antagonists were given simultaneously. This suggests that this localised cold probe response requires both functional TRPA1 and TRPM8.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalPfl�s Archiv / European Journal of Physiology
Early online date21 Nov 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Nov 2017


  • Blood flow
  • Cold
  • Thermoreceptors
  • TRPA1
  • TRPM8
  • Vascular


Dive into the research topics of 'Relevance of TRPA1 and TRPM8 channels as vascular sensors of cold in the cutaneous microvasculature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this