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TRPA1 activation leads to neurogenic vasodilatation: involvement of reactive oxygen nitrogen species in addition to CGRP and NO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2419-2433
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number15
Early online date17 May 2016
Accepted/In press5 May 2016
E-pub ahead of print17 May 2016
Published1 Aug 2016


King's Authors


Background and Purpose: Transient receptor potential ankyrin-1 (TRPA1) activation is known to mediate neurogenic vasodilatation. We investigated the mechanisms involved in TRPA1-mediated peripheral vasodilatation in vivo using the TRPA1 agonist cinnamaldehyde. Experimental Approach: Changes in vascular ear blood flow were measured in anaesthetized mice using laser Doppler flowmetry. Key Results: Topical application of cinnamaldehyde to the mouse ear caused a significant increase in blood flow in the skin of anaesthetized wild-type (WT) mice but not in TRPA1 knockout (KO) mice. Cinnamaldehyde-induced vasodilatation was inhibited by the pharmacological blockade of the potent microvascular vasodilator neuropeptide CGRP and neuronal NOS-derived NO pathways. Cinnamaldehyde-mediated vasodilatation was significantly reduced by treatment with reactive oxygen nitrogen species (RONS) scavenger such as catalase and the SOD mimetic TEMPOL, supporting a role of RONS in the downstream vasodilator TRPA1-mediated response. Co-treatment with a non-selective NOS inhibitor L-NAME and antioxidant apocynin further inhibited the TRPA1-mediated vasodilatation. Cinnamaldehyde treatment induced the generation of peroxynitrite that was blocked by the peroxynitrite scavenger FeTPPS and shown to be dependent on TRPA1, as reflected by an increase in protein tyrosine nitration in the skin of WT, but not in TRPA1 KO mice. Conclusion and Implications: This study provides in vivo evidence that TRPA1-induced vasodilatation mediated by cinnamaldehyde requires neuronal NOS-derived NO, in addition to the traditional neuropeptide component. A novel role of peroxynitrite is revealed, which is generated downstream of TRPA1 activation by cinnamaldehyde. This mechanistic pathway underlying TRPA1-mediated vasodilatation may be important in understanding the role of TRPA1 in pathophysiological situations.

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