Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1, vanilloid 2 and melastatin 8 immunoreactive nerve fibers in human skin from individuals with and without Norrbottnian congenital insensitivity to pain.Neuroscience. 2009 Sep 15; 162(4):1322-32.N
Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), vanilloid 2 (TRPV2) and melastatin 8 (TRPM8) are thermosensitive cation channels expressed on primary sensory neurons. In contrast to TRPV1, which is present on nociceptive primary afferents and keratinocytes in human skin, less is known about the distribution of TRPV2 and TRPM8 in this tissue. Immunohistochemistry of human forearm skin identified TRPV2 and TRPM8 immunoreactive nerve fibers in epidermis-papillary dermis and around blood vessels and hair follicles in dermis, although these nerve fibers were less abundant than TRPV1 immunoreactive nerve fibers throughout the skin. The TRPV2 and TRPM8 immunoreactive nerve fibers also showed immunoreactivity for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and to a lesser extent substance P (SP). Neither of the TRP ion channels co-localized with neurofilament 200 kDa (NF200), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) or tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Nerve fibers immunoreactive for TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPM8, CGRP and SP were absent or substantially reduced in number in individuals with Norrbottnian congenital insensitivity to pain, an autosomal disease selectively affecting the development of C-fiber and Adelta-fiber primary afferents. Quantitative real time PCR detected mRNA transcripts encoding TRPV1 and TRPV2, but not TRPM8, in skin from healthy volunteers, suggesting that these ion channels are also expressed extraneuronally. In conclusion, nerve fibers in human skin express TRPV1, TRPV2 and TRPM8 that co-localize with the sensory neuropeptides CGRP and SP, but not with NF200, VIP or TH. A dramatic loss of such nerve fibers was seen in skin from individuals with Norrbottnian congenital insensitivity to pain, further suggesting that these ion channels are expressed primarily on nociceptive primary sensory neurons in human skin.