Chapter

Cannabinoids and the Brain

pp 101-130

Functional Molecular Biology of the TRPV1 Ion Channel

  • Istvan NagyAffiliated withDepartment of Anaesthetics, Pain Medicine and Intensive Care, Imperial College London, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
  • , John P. M. White
  • , Cleoper C. Paule
  • , Mervyn Maze
  • , Laszlo Urban

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This chapter offers an introduction to the structure and function of TRPV1 receptor. In terms of activators and sites of interaction, we elaborate at least five mechanisms by which TRPV1 receptor may be activated, including ligand binding, protonation, post-translational changes, thermal energy, and electrical energy. The sub-cellular expression of TRPV1 receptor and its expression in primary sensory neurons in the central nervous system and by non-neuronal cells are also examined, as is co-expression of TRPV1 receptor with the cannabinoid 1 receptor. The cellular responses to TRPV1 receptor activation are discussed, including its role in generating ionic influx into primary sensory neurons and desensitisation of TRPV1 receptor. Finally, consideration is afforded to the role of TRPV1 receptor in physiological and pathological conditions.