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Musculoskeletal disease

Muscular atrophy

Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1; VR1)

In vitro and mouse studies suggest activating TRPV1 in skeletal muscle could help treat or prevent muscular atrophy. In mice, mechanical and functional overload of muscles caused Trpv1 activation and led to muscular hypertrophy. In the mice subjected to muscle overload, the TRPV1 activator capsaicin increased muscle weight and fiber length compared with vehicle. In a mouse model of muscular atrophy, the TRPV1 activator capsaicin prevented muscle weight loss and decreases in fiber length. Next steps could include identifying a muscle-specific TRPV1 activator.
NeurogesX Inc. and Astellas Pharma Inc. market Qutenza, a dermal patch containing capsaicin, to manage neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). NeurogesX's NGX-1998, a topical liquid formulation of synthetic capsaicin, is in Phase II testing for the same indication.

SciBX 6(1); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.17
Published online Jan. 10, 2013

Patent and licensing status unavailable

Ito, N. et al. Nat. Med.; published online Dec. 2, 2012;
Contact: Shin'ichi Takeda, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Kodaira, Japan