Role of transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 channels in Alzheimer's disease

Kuan I. Lee, Hsueh Te Lee, Hui Ching Lin, Huey Jen Tsay, Feng Chuan Tsai, Song Kun Shyue, Tzong Shyuan Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Background: Transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) channel plays an important role in pain and inflammation. However, little is known about the significance of the TRPA1 channel in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Methods: Wild-type (WT), TRPA1-/-, amyloid precursor protein (APP)/presenilin 1 (PS1) transgenic (APP/PS1 Tg) mice, the mouse model of AD, and APP/PS1 Tg/TRPA1-/- mice were used to examine the role of TRPA1 in pathogenesis of AD. Western blot was used for protein expression; immunohistochemistry was used for histological examination. The mouse behaviors were evaluated by locomotion, nesting building, Y-maze and Morris water maze tests; levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-4, IL-6 and IL-10 and the activities of protein phosphatase 2B (PP2B), NF-ΚB and nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) were measured by conventional assay kits; Fluo-8 NW calcium (Ca2+) assay kit was used for the measurement of intracellular Ca2+ level in primary astrocytes and HEK293 cells. Results: The protein expression of TRPA1 channels was higher in brains, mainly astrocytes of the hippocampus, from APP/PS1 Tg mice than WT mice. Ablation of TRPA1-channel function in APP/PS1 Tg mice alleviated behavioral dysfunction, Aβ plaque deposition and pro-inflammatory cytokine production but increased astrogliosis in brain lesions. TRPA1 channels were activated and Ca2+ influx was elicited in both astrocytes and TRPA1-transfected HEK293 cells treated with fibrilized Aβ1-42; these were abrogated by pharmacological inhibition of TRPA1 channel activity, disruption of TRPA1 channel function or removal of extracellular Ca2+. Inhibition of TRPA1 channel activity exacerbated Aβ1-42-induced astrogliosis but inhibited Aβ1-42-increased PP2B activation, the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and activities of transcriptional factors NF-ΚB and NFAT in astrocytes and in APP/PS1 Tg mice. Pharmacological inhibition of PP2B activity diminished the fibrilized Aβ1-42-induced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, activation of NF-ΚB and NFAT and astrogliosis in astrocytes. Conclusions: TRPA1 - Ca2+ - PP2B signaling may play a crucial role in regulating astrocyte-derived inflammation and pathogenesis of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number92
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 27 Apr 2016


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Calcium
  • Inflammation
  • Protein phosphatase 2B
  • Transient receptor potential ankyrin 1


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