Sensory Perception

Skin Feels the Heat

Science's STKE  08 Mar 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 274, pp. tw92
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2742005tw92

Unlike other members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) family of ion channels that function as temperature sensors, TRPV3 is expressed in epithelial keratinocytes rather than sensory neurons in the skin. Moqrich et al. generated a TRPV3 knockout mouse and found that the ion channel is required for animals to detect temperatures in the ambient range. Camphor potentiated the activation of TRPV3 by heat, and mice lacking TRPV3 could not respond to camphor. The study extends thermosensation, once thought to be an exclusive function of neurons, to keratinocytes.

A. Moqrich, S. W. Hwang, T. J. Earley, M. J. Petrus, A. N. Murray, K. S. R. Spencer, M. Andahazy, G. M. Story, A. Patapoutian, Impaired thermosensation in mice lacking TRPV3, a heat and camphor sensor in the skin. Science 307, 1468-1472 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]