PubMed 22072513

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Slo1 , TRP , TRPC , TRPC1

Title: TRPC1 contributes to light-touch sensation and mechanical responses in low-threshold cutaneous sensory neurons.

Authors: Sheldon R Garrison, Alexander Dietrich, Cheryl L Stucky

Journal, date & volume: , 2011 Nov 9 , ,

PubMed link:

The cellular proteins that underlie mechanosensation remain largely enigmatic in mammalian systems. Mechanically sensitive ion channels are thought to distinguish pressure, stretch, and other types of tactile signals in skin. Transient receptor potential canonical 1 (TRPC1) is a candidate mechanically sensitive channel that is expressed in primary afferent sensory neurons. However, its role in the mechanical sensitivity of these neurons is unclear. Here, we investigated TRPC1-dependent responses to both innocuous and noxious mechanical force. Mechanically evoked action potentials in cutaneous myelinated A-fiber and unmyelinated C-fiber neurons were quantified using the ex vivo skin-nerve preparation to record from the saphenous nerve, which terminates in the dorsal hairy skin of the hindpaw. Our data reveal that in TRPC1-deficient mice, mechanically evoked action potentials were decreased by nearly 50% in slowly adapting Aβ-fibers, which largely innervate Merkel cells, and in rapidly adapting Aδ-Down-hair afferent fibers compared with wild-type controls. In contrast, differences were not found in slowly adapting Aδ-mechanoreceptors or unmyelinated C-fibers, which primarily respond to nociceptive stimuli. These results suggest that TRPC1 may be important in the detection of innocuous mechanical force. We concurrently investigated the role of TRPC1 in behavioral responses to mechanical force to the plantar hindpaw skin. For innocuous stimuli, we developed a novel light stroke assay using a "puffed out" cotton swab. Additionally, we used repeated light, presumably innocuous punctate stimuli with a low threshold von Frey filament (0.68 mN). In agreement with our electrophysiological data in light-touch afferents, TRPC1-deficient mice exhibited nearly a 50% decrease in behavioral responses to both the light-stroke and light punctate mechanical assays when compared with wild-type controls. In contrast, TRPC1-deficient mice exhibited normal paw withdrawal response to more intense mechanical stimuli that are typically considered measures of nociceptive behavior.