Odontoblast TRPC5 channels signal cold pain in teeth

Laura Bernal, Pamela Sotelo-Hitschfeld, Christine König, Viktor Sinica, Amanda Wyatt, Zoltan Winter, Alexander Hein, Filip Touska, Susanne Reinhardt, Aaron Tragl, Ricardo Kusuda, Philipp Wartenberg, Allen Sclaroff, John D. Pfeifer, Fabien Ectors, Andreas Dahl, Marc Freichel, Viktorie Vlachova, Sebastian Brauchi, Carolina RozaUlrich Boehm, David E. Clapham, Jochen K. Lennerz, Katharina Zimmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Teeth are composed of many tissues, covered by an inflexible and obdurate enamel. Unlike most other tissues, teeth become extremely cold sensitive when inflamed. The mechanisms of this cold sensation are not understood. Here, we clarify the molecular and cellular components of the dental cold sensing system and show that sensory transduction of cold stimuli in teeth requires odontoblasts. TRPC5 is a cold sensor in healthy teeth and, with TRPA1, is sufficient for cold sensing. The odontoblast appears as the direct site of TRPC5 cold transduction and provides a mechanism for prolonged cold sensing via TRPC5’s relative sensitivity to intracellular calcium and lack of desensitization. Our data provide concrete functional evidence that equipping odontoblasts with the cold-sensor TRPC5 expands traditional odontoblast functions and renders it a previously unknown integral cellular component of the dental cold sensing system.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabf5567
JournalScience Advances
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 2021


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