Functional Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 is Expressed in Human Urothelial Cells

Ana Charrua, Carlos Reguenga, João Miguel Cordeiro, Paulo Correiade-Sá, Cleope Paule, Istvan Nagy, Francisco Cruz, António Avelino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We investigated the expression and functional status of TRPV1 receptor in human urothelial cells. Material and Methods: Human urothelium was cultured and TRPV1 receptor expression was studied by immunocytochemistry and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The influence of inflammatory mediators on TRPV1 mRNA levels was also studied. Functional assays (cobalt uptake measurements and whole cell voltage clamp records) were used to study the response of urothelial cells to capsaicin, temperature, low pH and inflammatory mediators. Capsaicin induced adenosine triphosphate release from urothelial cells was assessed by bioluminescence. Results: TRPV1 protein and mRNA were detected in human urothelial cells and mRNA more than tripled in the presence of inflammatory mediators. Nerve growth factor treatment alone did not affect TRPV1 mRNA expression. Capsaicin (100 nM and 1 μM) and heat (41C and 45C) evoked cobalt uptake and inflammatory mediators lowered the temperature threshold for TRPV1 activation to 37C. Capsaicin (1 μM) induced TRPV1 desensitization to further applications of the agonist. In whole cell patch clamp experiments 1 μM capsaicin and a heat ramp from 37C to 50C caused inward currents. The same concentration of capsaicin induced the release of about 7 fmol adenosine triphosphate per mg. Conclusions: TRPV1 receptors expressed by human urothelial cells respond to capsaicin and thermal stimuli. Capsaicin evoked release of adenosine triphosphate suggests that human urothelial TRPV1 is involved in the afferent branch of the micturition reflex. Inflammatory mediators decrease the TRPV1 thermal threshold of activation to body temperature and increase its expression. This finding may be relevant for symptoms associated with cystitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2944-2950
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2009


  • TRPV1 protein
  • capsaicin
  • human
  • inflammation
  • urinary bladder
  • urothelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Functional Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 is Expressed in Human Urothelial Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Charrua, A., Reguenga, C., Cordeiro, J. M., Correiade-Sá, P., Paule, C., Nagy, I., Cruz, F., & Avelino, A. (2009). Functional Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 is Expressed in Human Urothelial Cells. Journal of Urology, 182(6), 2944-2950.