Targeting nociceptive transient receptor potential channels to treat chronic pain: current state of the field.Br J Pharmacol. 2018 06; 175(12):2185-2203.BJ
Control of chronic pain is frequently inadequate and/or associated with intolerable adverse effects, prompting a frantic search for new therapeutics and new therapeutic targets. Nearly two decades of preclinical and clinical research supports the involvement of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in temperature perception, nociception and sensitization. Although there has been considerable excitement around the therapeutic potential of this channel family since the cloning and identification of TRPV1 cation channels as the capsaicin receptor more than 20 years ago, only modulators of a few channels have been tested clinically. TRPV1 channel antagonists have suffered from side effects related to the channel's role in temperature sensation; however, high dose formulations of capsaicin have reached the market and shown therapeutic utility. A number of potent, small molecule antagonists of TRPA1 channels have recently advanced into clinical trials for the treatment of inflammatory and neuropathic pain, and TRPM8 antagonists are following closely behind for cold allodynia. TRPV3, TRPV4, TRPM2 and TRPM3 channels have also been of significant interest. This review discusses the preclinical promise and status of novel analgesic agents that target TRP channels and the challenges that these compounds may face in development and clinical practice.