About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

TRPA1 Gene Could Help in the Treatment of Frostbite and Hypothermia

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on December 12, 2014 at 5:45 PM
Font : A-A+

 TRPA1 Gene Could Help in the Treatment of Frostbite and Hypothermia

A cold 'sensor' which triggers the skin's vascular response to the cold could represent a new therapeutic target for the treatment of frostbite and hypothermia, according to scientists at King's College London. The study explains TRPA1's role in cold exposure and provides impetus for further research into how this gene could be targeted to enhance the body's protective response to cold.

The human body has several defense mechanisms to try and boost its core temperature in cold weather. The skin responds by narrowing its blood vessels to constrict the supply of blood (vasoconstriction) and retain body heat. Then vasodilatation i.e. blood vessels are widened and more blood flows to the surface of the skin. This process is important for keeping the skin warm. In extreme cold blood flow to the skin is disrupted leading to frostbite or swelling (chilblains).

Advertisement

In the King's study, the skin of anaesthetized mice was exposed to cold by immersing a paw in water. Blood flow was measured before and after exposure to the cold. Researchers found that TRPA1 gene acted in two distinct ways - first by sensing the change in temperature, and then by stimulating the protective constriction of blood vessels. The subsequent vasodilatation phase was also dependent on TRPA1 gene activation and was crucial for restoring blood flow to the skin.

Susan Brain, Professor of Pharmacology in the Cardiovascular Division at King's College London, said, "In response to cold weather the body seeks first and foremost to keep the core warm, which means retaining blood close to the centre and constricting blood supply to the skin. Our findings highlight the crucial role TRPA1 plays in this physiological response and could pave the way to learn of new pathways that limit the adverse effects of exposure to cold, and potentially the whole body cooling process associated with hypothermia. Future research must also investigate the relationship between the vascular responses to cold exposure and the maintenance of skin and body temperatures."
Advertisement

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, which part-funded the research, said, "This study helps us to understand how and why our blood vessels contract and expand, and could help scientists develop treatments for many conditions where blood vessel or 'vascular' health is important, from Raynaud's to heart failure."

The study is published in 'Nature Communications'.


Source: Medindia
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Ways to Manage Stress during COVID-19 Pandemic
Can Adjusting Fatty Acid Intake Improve Mood in Bipolar Disorder Patients?
Insulin Resistance Doubles the Risk of Major Depressive Disorder
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
DNA Finger Printing Weaver Syndrome Hypothermia 

Recommended Reading
Do You Prefer Wearing Fingerless Gloves in Winter? Don't, You Could Lose Your Fingers To Frostbite
Fingerless gloves leave fingers exposed for texting in winters. However, surgeons warn that they ......
Wearing Half Gloves is Dangerous in Winter
The popular half-gloves, which leave fingers uncovered for texting may be good for communicating ......
South Australia Has Higher Rate of Hypothermia Deaths Than Sweden
At the University of Adelaide, new research shows that the state of South Australia has a higher ......
DNA Finger Printing
DNA fingerprinting is a technique which helps forensic scientists and legal experts solve crimes, id...
Hypothermia
Hypothermia occurs when body temperature drops to 35 degree Celsius or 95 degree Fahrenheit and belo...
Weaver Syndrome
Weaver syndrome is a genetic disorder in which children show accelerated bone growth, advanced bone ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use