A non-pungent resiniferatoxin analogue, phorbol 12-phenylacetate 13 acetate 20-homovanillate, reveals vanilloid receptor subtypes on rat trigeminal ganglion neurons.
Capsaicin, the vanilloid responsible for the pungent taste of hot peppers, binds to receptors found primarily in polymodal nociceptors. Capsaicin initially stimulates polymodal nociceptors and subsequently inhibits them from responding to a variety of stimuli. This property makes it useful clinically as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory compound. There is mounting, albeit indirect, evidence for the existence of several subtypes of vanilloid receptors. One such piece of evidence comes from studying analogues of capsaicin, such as phorbol 12-phenylacetate 13 acetate 20-homovanillate. This compound binds to (capsaicin) vanilloid receptors on sensory neurons, but unlike capsaicin it is non-pungent and does not produce hypothermia. To determine how sensory neurons respond to phorbol 12-phenylacetate 13 acetate 20-homovanillate, and to compare these responses with those evoked by capsaicin, whole-cell patch-clamp measurements were performed on cultured rat trigeminal ganglion neurons. It was found that 63% of the neurons held at -60 mV were activated by 3 microM, phorbol 12-phenylacetate 13 acetate 20-homovanillate, and 87% of these were also activated by 1 microM capsaicin. In a given neuron, phorbol 12-phenylacetate 13 acetate 20-homovanillate, like capsaicin, could activate kinetically distinct inward currents. The current-voltage curves characterizing phorbol 12-phenylacetate 13 acetate 20-homovanillate responses were asymmetric and had reversal potentials at -5.8 +/- 6.0 mV and 10.4 +/- 4 mV. The averaged dose-response curves for phorbol 12-phenylacetate 13 acetate 20-homovanillate were fit to the Hill equation and had binding constants (K(1/2)s) of 2.73 microM and 0.96 microM and Hill coefficients (ns) of approximately 1 for a rapidly- and slowly-activating current, respectively. These parameters are consistent with those obtained from binding experiments and calcium-influx experiments on sensory nerves. Repeated applications of phorbol 12-phenylacetate 13 acetate 20-homovanillate every 3 min caused a complete reduction in the rapidly-activating currents leaving only a reduced slowly-activating current. This provides strong evidence for the independence of these currents and the existence of subtypes of vanilloid receptors. Additional evidence for the existence of receptor subtypes is that 10 microM capsazepine, a specific and competitive inhibitor of capsaicin-evoked responses, did not inhibit the phorbol 12-phenylacetate 13 acetate 20-homovanillate-induced currents in some neurons and partially inhibited them in other neurons. Thus, there are capsazepine-sensitive and capsazepine-insensitive subtypes of vanilloid receptors. In summary, we have obtained electrophysiological and pharmacological evidence for distinct subtypes of vanilloid receptors.
Liu, L; Szallasi, A; Simon, SA
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