Capsaicin, the classic activator of TRPV-1 channels in primary sensory neurons, evokes nociception. Interestingly, auditory reception is also modulated by this chemical, possibly by direct actions on outer hair cells (OHCs). Surprisingly, we find two novel actions of capsaicin unrelated to TRPV-1 channels, which likely contribute to its auditory effects in vivo. First, capsaicin is a potent blocker of OHC K conductances (IK and IK,n). Second, capsaicin substantially alters OHC nonlinear capacitance, the signature of electromotility - a basis of cochlear amplification. These new findings of capsaicin have ramifications for our understanding of the pharmacological properties of OHC IK, IK,n and electromotility and for interpretation of capsaicin pharmacological actions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems