Scientific reports

TRPA1 mediates the hypothermic action of acetaminophen.

PMID 26227887


Acetaminophen (APAP) is an effective antipyretic and one of the most commonly used analgesic drugs. Unlike antipyretic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, APAP elicits hypothermia in addition to its antipyretic effect. Here we have examined the mechanisms responsible for the hypothermic activity of APAP. Subcutaneous, but not intrathecal, administration of APAP elicited a dose dependent decrease in body temperature in wildtype mice. Hypothermia was abolished in mice pre-treated with resiniferatoxin to destroy or defunctionalize peripheral TRPV1-expressing terminals, but resistant to inhibition of cyclo-oxygenases. The hypothermic activity was independent of TRPV1 since APAP evoked hypothermia was identical in wildtype and Trpv1(-/-) mice, and not reduced by administration of a maximally effective dose of a TRPV1 antagonist. In contrast, a TRPA1 antagonist inhibited APAP induced hypothermia and APAP was without effect on body temperature in Trpa1(-/-) mice. In a model of yeast induced pyrexia, administration of APAP evoked a marked hypothermia in wildtype and Trpv1(-/-) mice, but only restored normal body temperature in Trpa1(-/-) and Trpa1(-/-)/Trpv1(-/-) mice. We conclude that TRPA1 mediates APAP evoked hypothermia.