Stereo-selective inhibition of transient receptor potential TRPC5 cation channels by neuroactive steroids

Yasser Majeed, M. S. Amer, A. K. Agarwal, L. McKeown, K. E. Porter, D. J. O'Regan, J. Naylor, C. W G Fishwick, K. Muraki, D. J. Beech

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Transient receptor potential canonical 5 (TRPC5) channels are widely expressed, including in the CNS, where they potentiate fear responses. They also contribute to other non-selective cation channels that are stimulated by G-protein-coupled receptor agonists and lipid and redox factors. Steroids are known to modulate fear and anxiety states, and we therefore investigated whether TRPC5 exhibited sensitivity to steroids. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Human TRPC5 channels were conditionally expressed in HEK293 cells and studied using intracellular Ca 2+ measurement, whole-cell voltage-clamp and excised patch techniques. For comparison, control experiments were performed with cells lacking TRPC5 channels or expressing another TRP channel, TRPM2. Native TRPC channel activity was recorded from vascular smooth muscle cells. KEY RESULTS Extracellular application of pregnenolone sulphate, pregnanolone sulphate, pregnanolone, progesterone or dihydrotestosterone inhibited TRPC5 activity within 1-2 min. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate or 17β-oestradiol had weak inhibitory effects. Pregnenolone, and allopregnanolone, a progesterone metabolite and stereo-isomer of pregnanolone, all had no effects. Progesterone was the most potent of the steroids, especially against TRPC5 channel activity evoked by sphingosine-1-phosphate. In outside-out patch recordings, bath-applied progesterone and dihydrotestosterone had strong and reversible effects, suggesting relatively direct mechanisms of action. Progesterone inhibited native TRPC5-containing channel activity, evoked by oxidized phospholipid. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Our data suggest that TRPC5 channels are susceptible to relatively direct and rapid stereo-selective steroid modulation, leading to channel inhibition. The study adds to growing appreciation of TRP channels as non-genomic steroid sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1509-1520
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • cationic channel
  • neurosteroid
  • progesterone
  • transient receptor potential canonical 5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

Cite this

Majeed, Y., Amer, M. S., Agarwal, A. K., McKeown, L., Porter, K. E., O'Regan, D. J., Naylor, J., Fishwick, C. W. G., Muraki, K., & Beech, D. J. (2011). Stereo-selective inhibition of transient receptor potential TRPC5 cation channels by neuroactive steroids. British Journal of Pharmacology, 162(7), 1509-1520.