Transient receptor potential channel polymorphisms are associated with the somatosensory function in neuropathic pain patients.
Transient receptor potential channels are important mediators of thermal and mechanical stimuli and play an important role in neuropathic pain. The contribution of hereditary variants in the genes of transient receptor potential channels to neuropathic pain is unknown. We investigated the frequency of transient receptor potential ankyrin 1, transient receptor potential melastin 8 and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 single nucleotide polymorphisms and their impact on somatosensory abnormalities in neuropathic pain patients. Within the German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain (Deutscher Forscbungsverbund Neuropathischer Schmerz) 371 neuropathic pain patients were phenotypically characterized using standardized quantitative sensory testing. Pyrosequencing was employed to determine a total of eleven single nucleotide polymorphisms in transient receptor potential channel genes of the neuropathic pain patients and a cohort of 253 German healthy volunteers. Associations of quantitative sensory testing parameters and single nucleotide polymorphisms between and within groups and subgroups, based on sensory phenotypes, were analyzed. Single nucleotide polymorphisms frequencies did not differ between both the cohorts. However, in neuropathic pain patients transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 710G>A (rs920829, E179K) was associated with the presence of paradoxical heat sensation (p = 0.03), and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 1911A>G (rs8065080, I585V) with cold hypoalgesia (p = 0.0035). Two main subgroups characterized by preserved (1) and impaired (2) sensory function were identified. In subgroup 1 transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 1911A>G led to significantly less heat hyperalgesia, pinprick hyperalgesia and mechanical hypaesthesia (p = 0.006, p = 0.005 and p<0.001) and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 1103C>G (rs222747, M315I) to cold hypaesthesia (p = 0.002), but there was absence of associations in subgroup 2. In this study we found no evidence that genetic variants of transient receptor potential channels are involved in the expression of neuropathic pain, but transient receptor potential channel polymorphisms contributed significantly to the somatosensory abnormalities of neuropathic pain patients.