eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2017   Volume No 34 – pages 180-201

Title: The role of transient receptor potential channels in joint diseases

Authors: O Krupkova, J Zvick, K Wuertz-Kozak

Address:   ETH Zurich, Hoenggerbergring 64, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland

E-mail: okrupkova at

Key Words: Transient receptor potential channels, degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, nociception, mechanosensing, osmosensing, inflammation, calcium.

Publication date: October 10th 2017

Abstract: Transient receptor potential channels (TRP channels) are cation selective transmembrane receptors with diverse structures, activation mechanisms and physiological functions. TRP channels act as cellular sensors for a plethora of stimuli, including temperature, membrane voltage, oxidative stress, mechanical stimuli, pH and endogenous, as well as, exogenous ligands, thereby illustrating their versatility. As such, TRP channels regulate various functions in both excitable and non-excitable cells, mainly by mediating Ca2+ homeostasis. Dysregulation of TRP channels is implicated in many pathologies, including cardiovascular diseases, muscular dystrophies and hyperalgesia. However, the importance of TRP channel expression, physiological function and regulation in chondrocytes and intervertebral disc (IVD) cells is largely unexplored. Osteoarthritis (OA) and degenerative disc disease (DDD) are chronic age-related disorders that significantly affect the quality of life by causing pain, activity limitation and disability. Furthermore, currently available therapies cannot effectively slow-down or stop progression of these diseases. Both OA and DDD are characterised by reduced tissue cellularity, enhanced inflammatory responses and molecular, structural and mechanical alterations of the extracellular matrix, hence affecting load distribution and reducing joint flexibility. However, knowledge on how chondrocytes and IVD cells sense their microenvironment and respond to its changes is still limited. In this review, we introduced six families of mammalian TRP channels, their mechanisms of activation, as well as, activation-driven cellular consequences. We summarised the current knowledge on TRP channel expression and activity in chondrocytes and IVD cells, as well as, the significance of TRP channels as therapeutic targets for the treatment of OA and DDD.

Article download: Pages 180-201 (PDF file)