Involvement of Transient Receptor Potential Cation Channel Member A1 activation in the irritation and pain response elicited by skin-lightening reagent hydroquinone.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Hydroquinone (HQ) is one of the most frequently used and effective skin-lightening products to treat skin hyperpigmentation disorders, including postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma and solar lentigines. HQ is also widely used in cosmetic products for skin whitening. However, HQ treatment can evoke substantial skin irritation, a side effect that remains poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that HQ is an activator of the peripheral irritant receptor transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channel member A1 (TRPA1). HQ failed to activate TRPV1, TRPV4 or TRPM8. HQ-induced TRPA1 activation was dependent on essential redox-sensitive cysteine and lysine residues within N-terminus of channel protein. HQ elicited Ca2+ influx in a subpopulation of mouse sensory neurons sensitive to the TRPA1 agonist, mustard oil. HQ-induced neuronal responses were significantly reduced by TRPA1 inhibitors, and reduced in neurons isolated from Trpa1-deficient mice. In mice, intraplantar injection of HQ at clinically relevant concentrations elicited both acute pain and persistent mechanical hyperalgesia which were almost completely abolished by TRPA1 inhibitors. These findings identify TRPA1 as a molecular target for HQ and provide insights into the mechanism of HQ-induced skin irritation. These findings also suggest that selective TRPA1 antagonists may be useful to counteract HQ-induced skin irritation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tai, Y; Wang, C; Wang, Z; Liang, Y; Du, J; He, D; Fan, X; Jordt, S-E; Liu, B

Published Date

  • August 8, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 7532 -

PubMed ID

  • 28790335

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5548750

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2045-2322

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41598-017-07651-5


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England