The Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channel superfamily is comprised of a large group of cation-permeable channels, which display an extraordinary diversity of functions from sensory signaling to animal behaviors. These channels are ‘cellular sensors’ that respond to changes in the cellular environment, including temperature, stretch/pressure, chemicals, oxidation/reduction, osmolarity and pH, and of spices, venoms and toxins. The role of TRPs will be further elucidated in complex diseases of the nervous, intestinal, renal, urogenital, respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Although the physiological functions of most TRP channels are not well known, their wide distribution in cellular membranes indicates that the biological functions and activation mechanisms for these channels are diverse and important. In this paper we review our recent findings of activation different TRP channels evoked by chemical irritants such as cinnamon aldehyde and mustard oil for TRPA1, menthol for TRPM8 and capsaicin for TRPV1 by a battery of behavioral tests.
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