Transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) is the principal cold and menthol receptor channel. Characterized primarily for its cold sensing role in sensory neurons, it is expressed and functional in several non-neuronal tissues, including vasculature. We previously demonstrated that menthol causes vasoconstriction and vasodilatation in isolated arteries, depending on vascular tone. Here we investigated calcium's role in responses mediated by TRPM8 ligands in rat tail artery myocytes using patch-clamp electrophysiology and ratiometric Ca2+ recording. Isometric contraction studies examined actions of TRPM8 ligands in the presence/absence of L-type calcium channel blocker. Menthol (300 μM), a concentration typically used to induce TRPM8 currents, strongly inhibited L-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ current (L-ICa) in myocytes, especially it's sustained component, most relevant for depolarisation-induced vasoconstriction. In contraction studies, with nifedipine present (10 μM) to abolish L-ICa contribution to phenylephrine (PE)-induced vasoconstrictions of vascular rings, a marked increase in tone was observed with menthol. Menthol-induced increases in PE-induced vasoconstrictions were mediated predominantly by Ca2+-release from sarcoplasmic reticulum, since they were significantly inhibited by cyclopiazonic acid. Pre-incubation of vascular rings with a TRPM8 antagonist strongly inhibited menthol-induced increases in PE-induced vasoconstrictions, thus confirming specific role of TRPM8. Finally, two other common TRPM8 agonists, WS-12 and icilin, inhibited L-ICa. Thus, TRPM8 channels are functionally active in rat tail artery myocytes and play a distinct direct stimulatory role in control of vascular tone. However, indirect effects of TRPM8 agonists, which are unrelated to TRPM8, are mediated by inhibition of L-type Ca2+ channels, and largely obscure TRPM8-mediated vasoconstriction.
- TRPM8 agonists
- voltage-gated Ca2+ channels
- Copyright © 2015, American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology