(-)-menthol increases excitatory transmission by activating both TRPM8 and TRPA1 channels in mouse spinal lamina II layer.Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2019 08 27; 516(3):825-830.BB
(-)-menthol, a major form of menthol, is one of the most commonly used chemicals. Many studies have demonstrated that (-)-menthol produces analgesic action through peripheral mechanisms which are mainly mediated by activation of TRPM8. Moreover, intrathecal injection of menthol induces analgesia as well. However, the central actions and mechanisms of (-)-menthol remain unclear. Here, we have investigated the action of (-)-menthol on excitatory synaptic transmission in spinal lamina II layer which plays a pivotal role in modulating nociceptive transmission from the periphery by using patch-clamp technique in mice spinal cord. We found that (-)-menthol increased miniature excitatory postsynaptic current frequency. The frequency increases which (-)-menthol induced were in a dose-dependent manner (EC50: 0.1079 mM). However, neither genetic knockout nor pharmacological inhibition of TRPM8 could block (-)-menthol-induced effects entirely. Furthermore, this increase was also impaired by TRPA1 antagonist HC030031, but abolished utterly by co-application of TRPM8 and TRPA1 antagonist. Our results indicate that (-)-menthol increases the excitatory synaptic transmission by activating either TRPA1 or TRPM8 channels in spinal lamina II layer.