American guidelines, unlike European guidelines, support the use of antihistamines as a first line of treatment for some causes of chronic cough. Transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) is an ion channel activated by the tussive agents capsaicin, resiniferatoxin, and protons. It is predominantly expressed by C-fiber and some Aδ-fiber sensory neurons and is thought to be a cough receptor. By measuring increases in intracellular calcium as an indicator of TRPV1 activation, the authors sought to determine whether antihistamines could antagonise TRPV1 permanently expressed in HEK and Pro5 cells and TRPV1 endogenously expressed in rat dorsal root ganglia neurons. In human TRPV1-expressing HEK cells (hTRPV1-HEK), diphenhydramine and fexofenadine failed to inhibit capsaicin-triggered calcium responses. However, both dexbrompheniramine and chlorpheniramine significantly inhibited capsaicin-evoked responses in hTRPV1-HEK. Dexbrompheniramine also inhibited activation of rat TRPV1 expressed in HEK and Pro5 cells, without interfering with TRPA1 and proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR2) activation. Finally, in rat dorsal root ganglia neuron preparations, dexbrompheniramine dose-dependently inhibited capsaicin-evoked calcium responses. Thus, the inhibition of TRPV1 activation by dexbrompheniramine may provide one potential mechanism whereby this antihistamine exerts its therapeutic effect in chronic cough. Copyright © Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.
Sadofsky, L. R., Campi, B., Trevisani, M., Compton, S. J., & Morice, A. H. (2008). Transient receptor potential vanilloid-1-mediated calcium responses are inhibited by the alkylamine antihistamines dexbrompheniramine and chlorpheniramine. Experimental Lung Research, 34(10), 681-693. doi:10.1080/01902140802339623