Sravan Mandadi1, Patricia J Armati2, Basil D Roufogalis3
1Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
2Nerve Research Foundation, Neuroinflammation Group, Brain and Mind Research Institute, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
DOI: 10.4103/0976-9668.82311


A variety of molecules are reported to be involved in chronic pain. This review outlines the specifics of protein kinase C (PKC), its isoforms and their role in modulating thermo-sensitive transient receptor potential (TRP) channels TRPV1-4, TRPM8, and TRPA1. Anatomically, PKC and thermo-sensitive TRPs are co-expressed in cell bodies of nociceptive dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, which are used as physiological correlates of peripheral and central projections involved in pain transmission. In the past decade, modulation of painful heat-sensitive TRPV1 by PKC has received the most attention. Recently, PKC modulation of other newly discovered thermo-sensitive pain-mediating TRPs has come into focus. Such modulation may occur under conditions of chronic pain resulting from nerve damage or inflammation. Since thermo-TRPs are primary detectors of acute pain stimuli, their modulation by PKC can severely alter their function, resulting in chronic pain. Comprehensive knowledge of pain signaling involving interaction of specific isoforms of PKC with specific thermo-sensitive TRP channels is incomplete. Such information is necessary to dissect out modality specific mechanisms to better manage the complex polymodal nature of chronic pain. This review is an attempt to update the readers on current knowledge of PKC modulation of thermo-sensitive TRPs and highlight implications of such modulation for pain signaling.

Keywords: Analgesia, transient receptor potential channels, protein kinase C, Anti-inflammatory, GPCR.

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