Novel effective therapeutic agents are actively sought for the treatment of a broad spectrum of respiratory diseases
which collectively significantly impact on mortality, morbidity and quality of life of hundreds of millions of people
world-wide. These include asthma, allergic rhinitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cough, idiopathic pulmonary
fibrosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, cystic fibrosis and acute lung injury.
TRP channels are broadly distributed throughout the respiratory tract and play an important physiological role in sensing
and subsequently responding to a wide variety of stimuli, for example temperature, osmolarity and oxidant stress. In the
context of respiratory disease however TRP channel function may be altered, eg: under conditions of oxidative stress, inflammation,
hypoxia and mechanical stress. In addition there is evidence that the expression/activity of TRP channels can
be affected in the disease setting. Modulators of TRP channel function are therefore under investigation for a range of diseases
including disorders of the respiratory system.
Several excellent review articles have discussed in detail evidence that modulation of specific TRP channels may be of
benefit in specific respiratory diseases. In this article we have taken the approach of reviewing evidence that modulation
of TRP channel function may be able to affect common and over-lapping characteristic features of respiratory diseases,
for example bronchoconstriction, airways hyper-responsiveness, cough, airways inflammation, mucus hyper-secretion,
exacerbations, lung injury, hypoxia and airways re-modelling. The therapeutic potential of TRP channel modulators, the
status of these agents in the clinic along with the challenges posed in this rapidly advancing field are also discussed in this