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TRPA1 And Issues Relating To Animal Model Selection For Extrapolating Toxicity Data To Humans

CD Lindsay, CM Timperley

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The transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) ion channel is a sensor for irritant chemicals, has ancient lineage, and is distributed across animal species including humans, where it features in many organs. Its activation by a diverse panel of electrophilic molecules (TRPA1 agonists) through electrostatic binding and/or covalent attachment to the protein causes the sensation of pain. This article reviews the species differences between TRPA1 channels and their responses, to assess the suitability of different animals to model the effects of TRPA1-activating electrophiles in humans, referring to common TRPA1 activators (exogenous and endogenous) and possible mechanisms of action relating to their toxicology. It concludes that close matching of in vitro and in vivo models will help optimise the identification of relevant biochemical and physiological responses to benchmark the efficacy of potential therapeutic drugs, including TRPA1 antagonists, to counter the toxic effects of those electrophiles capable of harming humans. The analysis of the species issue provided should aid the development of medical treatments to counter poisoning by such chemicals.