Neurourology and Urodynamics vol:27 issue:4 pages:264-273
The mammalian TRP family consists of 28 channels that can be subdivided into 6 different classes: TRPV (vanilloid), TRPC (canonical), TRPM (Melastatin), TRPP (Polycystin), TRPML (Mucolipin), and TRPA (Ankyrin). TRP channels are activated by a diversity of physical (voltage, heat, cold, mechanical stress) or chemical (pH, osmolality) stimuli and by binding of specific ligands, enabling them to act as multifunctional sensors at the cellular level. Currently, a lot of scientific research is devoted to these channels and their role in sensing mechanisms throughout the body. In urology, there's a growing conviction that disturbances in afferent (sensory) mechanisms are highly important in the pathogenesis of functional problems. Therefore, the TRP family forms an interesting new target to focus on. In this review we attempt to summarize the existing knowledge about TRP channels in the urogenital tract. So far, TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV4, TRPM8, and TRPA1 have been described in different parts of the urogenital tract. Although only TRPV1 (the vanilloid receptor) has been extensively studied so far, more evidence is slowly accumulating about the role of other TRP channels in the (patho)physiology of the urogenital tract.