In this article we will talk about vanilloid receptors, whose activation may play an important role in a variety of physiological functions. These include the release of inflammatory mediators in the body, gastrointestinal motility and temperature regulation.
In fact, the Transient Potential Receptor V1, known simply as TRPV1, plays a vital role in physiological and pathological states of the digestive tract. It is also important for the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, according to a large body of research published in recent years.
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What are vanilloid receptors?
TRPV1 / TRPV2, TRPV3, TRPV4 and TRPV5 / TRPV6 are members of the Transient Receptor Potential Receptor (TRPV) subfamily, which is classified into four groups based on homology. TRPV subfamily members act as tetrameric complexes with six N-terminal ankyrin repeats in each subunit.
All of these vanilloid receptors can play different roles in the body, due to their differences in structure and distribution. For example, the TRPV1 receptor acts as a multisensory receptor for potential damage signals, and is involved in many essential functions such as muscle cell contraction.
For its part, the TRPV3 receptor is essential for multiple functions of the skin, including the skin barrier, and hair morphogenesis. But compared to the others, the TRPV1 receptor is the main channel for the detection and integration of nociceptive thermal and chemical stimuli in sensory nerve fibers.
Structure of vanilloid TRPV1 receptors
Vanilloid receptors have a tetrameric structure consisting of six transmembrane regions as well as a hydrophobic group located between the fifth and sixth transmembrane regions.
The researchers have analyzed the structure of TRPV1 using cryo-electron microscopy at 19Å resolution. During this investigation, the general structure of the vanilloid receptors was divided into upper and lower parts, corresponding to the transmembrane and intracellular regions of the channel.
It has also been found that the structure of vanilloid receptors has dimensions of length, width, and height, corresponding to 100 Å × 110 Å × 110 Å, respectively. The study also revealed the existence of a dual-gate regulatory mechanism for these receptors.
In this case it was found that the fifth and sixth transmembrane protein regions of each TRPV1 subunit combine to form a pore region in the channel.
Biological characteristics and distribution of TRPV1
In mammals, vanilloid receptors are widely distributed in amyelinated C-type sensory nerve fibers and partially distributed in less myelinated Aδ-type sensory nerve fibers.
In our peripheral neuronal system, these fibers are found in the dorsal root ganglion, the trigeminal ganglion, as well as in the vagal ganglion, and in other small neurons. In the central nervous system, they are expressed in the thalamus, amygdala, striatum, and other regions.
The importance of vanilloid receptors is that they are present in the pancreas, heart, liver, lungs, and other vital organs of the human body. In the intestinal tract, the transient receptor potential V1 is distributed mainly in the submucosal nerve plexus of the intestinal tract.
It is also found in the myenteric nerve plexus, in the mucosa of the gastrointestinal muscle, and also in some non-nerve tissues, such as the cells of the gastric mucosa.
Thanks to research, it is known that vanilloid receptors are widely distributed in the respiratory sensory nerve fibers of our respiratory system. In this case we are talking specifically about type C sensory nerve fibers.
Not only that, TRPV1 is also expressed in smooth muscle cells, as well as in vascular endothelial cells, and inflammatory cells of the respiratory system.
Vanilloid receptors and irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is an intestinal disorder that occurs without structural or biochemical alterations. It is a disease characterized by abdominal pain, abdominal distension, as well as alterations in bowel habits.
Changes in stool characteristics are also common. But at present, the pathogenesis of this syndrome is not entirely clear. The information available indicates that visceral hypersensitivity is a key factor in the generation of pain.
Research has revealed that TRPV1 expression in nerve fibers was significantly increased in colon tissue in people with irritable bowel syndrome. Interestingly, this up-regulation is positively related to the severity of pain in the abdomen.
Pancreatitis occurs when there is inflammation in the pancreas. This is an organ that has both exocrine and endocrine functions. The normal synthesis, storage, and secretion of digestive enzymes are critical to maintaining a healthy pancreas.
Studies indicate that vanilloid receptors are found in nerve fibers near the pancreatic acinus. These are the cells found in the pancreas that are responsible for producing pancreatic juice, which is used to digest food.
These investigations have found that TRPV1 expression and function are positively regulated in the reduction of visceral pain. Previous studies have shown that inflammatory damage can release endogenous TRPV1 agonists in the pancreas.
Activation of the TRPV1 receptor has also been found to be associated with the production of pancreatic inflammation and pain.
It is a disease caused by genetic and environmental interactions, which produce changes in the function and structure of the heart and cardiovascular system.
Studies have shown that vanilloid receptors are highly involved in the detection of blood pressure fluctuations. TheTRPV1 receptor was found to be expressed on nerve and terminal fibers in the connective tissue layer of the ascending aorta, the aortic arch, and afferent fibers in the node ganglia.
In addition, these receptors can be considered as intravascular mechanosensors that allow blood pressure regulation by detecting changes in mechanical pressure.
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