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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 Jan 2020 - 24 Jan 2020

Animal Studies


2020 01 22

Sci Rep



Behavioral characterization of a CRISPR-generated TRPA1 knockout rat in models of pain, itch, and asthma.


Reese RM, Dourado M, Anderson K, Warming S, Stark KL, Balestrini A, Suto E, Lee W, Riol-Blanco L, Shields SD, Hackos DH
Sci Rep. 2020 01 22; 10(1):979.
PMID: 31969645.


The transient receptor potential (TRP) superfamily of ion channels has garnered significant attention by the pharmaceutical industry. In particular, TRP channels showing high levels of expression in sensory neurons such as TRPV1, TRPA1, and TRPM8, have been considered as targets for indications where sensory neurons play a fundamental role, such as pain, itch, and asthma. Modeling these indications in rodents is challenging, especially in mice. The rat is the preferred species for pharmacological studies in pain, itch, and asthma, but until recently, genetic manipulation of the rat has been technically challenging. Here, using CRISPR technology, we have generated a TRPA1 KO rat to enable more sophisticated modeling of pain, itch, and asthma. We present a detailed phenotyping of the TRPA1 KO rat in models of pain, itch, and asthma that have previously only been investigated in the mouse. With the exception of nociception induced by direct TRPA1 activation, we have found that the TRPA1 KO rat shows apparently normal behavioral responses in multiple models of pain and itch. Immune cell infiltration into the lung in the rat OVA model of asthma, on the other hand, appears to be dependent on TRPA1, similar to was has been observed in TRPA1 KO mice. Our hope is that the TRPA1 KO rat will become a useful tool in further studies of TRPA1 as a drug target.