Lipopolysaccharide-Induced TRPA1 Upregulation in Trigeminal Neurons is Dependent on TLR4 and Vesicular Exocytosis

Benoit Michot, Sharon M. Casey, Caroline S. Lee, Ozge Erdogan, Himanish Basu, Isaac Chiu, Jennifer L. Gibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pain from bacterial infection was believed to be the consequence of inflammation induced by bacterial products. However recent studies have shown that bacterial products can directly activate sensory neurons and induce pain. The mechanisms by which bacteria induce pain are poorly understood, but toll-like receptor (TLR)4 and transient receptor potential A1 (TRPA1) receptors are likely important integrators of pain signaling induced by bacteria. Using male and female mice we show that sensory neuron activation by bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) is mediated by both TRPA1 and TLR4 and involves the mobilization of extracellular and intracellular calcium. We also show that LPS induces neuronal sensitization in a process dependent on TLR4 receptors. Moreover, we show that TLR4 and TRPA1 are both involved in sensory neurons response to LPS stimulation. Activation of TLR4 in a subset of sensory neurons induces TRPA1 upregulation at the cell membrane through vesicular exocytosis, contributing to the initiation of neuronal sensitization and pain. Collectively these data highlight the importance of sensory neurons to pathogen detection, and their activation by bacterial products like LPS as potentially important to early immune and nociceptive responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6731-6744
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 4 2023


  • TLR4
  • TRPA1
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • pain
  • sensory neuron
  • trigeminal system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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