TRPA1 and TRPM8 activation in humans: effects of cinnamaldehyde and menthol

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychophysical effects of both TRPA1 and TRPM8 activation in humans by application of either cinnamaldehyde or menthol. We applied 10% cinnamaldehyde or 40% menthol solutions on the forearm in 10 study participants. Quantitative sensory testing and laser Doppler imaging was performed before and after exposure to the compounds. Cinnamaldehyde evoked significant spontaneous pain and induced heat and mechanical hyperalgesia, cold hypoalgesia and a neurogenic axon reflex erythema. In contrast, TRPM8 activation by menthol produced no axon reflex reaction and resulted in cold hyperalgesia. We conclude that agonists of TRPA1 and TRPM8 channels produce strikingly different psychophysical patterns.

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