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Papers of the Week

Papers: 28 Dec 2019 - 3 Jan 2020

Animal Studies

2019 12 27

Sci Rep



Diverse sensitivities of TRPA1 from different mosquito species to thermal and chemical stimuli.


Li T, Saito CT, Hikitsuchi T, Inoguchi Y, Mitsuishi H, Saito S, Tominaga M
Sci Rep. 2019 12 27; 9(1):20200.
PMID: 31882848.


Temperature and odors profoundly affect the behavior of animals. Transient receptor potential channel, subfamily A, member 1 (TRPA1) functions as a polymodal nociceptor for sensing both vital environmental cues in insects. Mosquitoes are recognized as disease vectors, and many efforts have been devoted to investigations of their host-seeking behaviors and repellents. However, the physiological characteristics of mosquito TRPA1 have not been systematically studied. We identified multiple alternative splice variants of the TrpA1 gene from Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles stephensi, Aedes aegypti and Culex pipiens pallens mosquitoes. And we performed comparative analyses of the responses of mosquito TRPA1s to heat or chemical stimuli with calcium-imaging and whole-cell patch-clamp methods. Comparison of TRPA1 among four mosquito species from different thermal niches revealed that TRPA1 of Culex pipiens pallens inhabiting the temperate zone had a lower temperature threshold for heat-evoked activation, which was supported by the in vivo heat-avoidance test. Notably, the chemosensitivity of mosquito TRPA1 channels revealed differences not only between variants but also among species. Moreover, we discovered three novel mosquito TRPA1 agonists. Thermal niches selection and evolutionary trajectories significantly affect the functional properties of mosquito TRPA1, which represents a hallmark of the behaviors that may permit the design of improved mosquito control methods.