Cold-sensing TRPM8 channel participates in circadian control of the brown adipose tissue

Maria Nathália Moraes, Leonardo Vinicius Monteiro de Assis, Felipe dos Santos Henriques, Miguel Luiz Batista, Ali D. Güler, Ana Maria de Lauro Castrucci*

*Corresponding author for this work
20 Citations (Scopus)


Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are known to regulate energy metabolism, and TRPM8 has become an interesting player in this context. Here we demonstrate the role of the cold sensor TRPM8 in the regulation of clock gene and clock controlled genes in brown adipose tissue (BAT). We investigated TrpM8 temporal profile in the eyes, suprachiasmatic nucleus and BAT; only BAT showed temporal variation of TrpM8 transcripts. Eyes from mice lacking TRPM8 lost the temporal profile of Per1 in LD cycle. This alteration in the ocular circadian physiology may explain the delay in the onset of locomotor activity in response to light pulse, as compared to wild type animals (WT). Brown adipocytes from TrpM8 KO mice exhibited a larger multilocularity in comparison to WT or TrpV1 KO mice. In addition, Ucp1 and UCP1 expression was significantly reduced in TrpM8 KO mice in comparison to WT mice. Regarding circadian components, the expression of Per1, Per2, Bmal1, Pparα, and Pparβ oscillated in WT mice kept in LD, whereas in the absence of TRPM8 the expression of clock genes was reduced in amplitude and lack temporal oscillation. Thus, our results reveal new roles for TRPM8 channel: it participates in the regulation of clock and clock-controlled genes in the eyes and BAT, and in BAT thermogenesis. Since disruption of the clock machinery has been associated with many metabolic disorders, the pharmacological modulation of TRPM8 channel may become a promising therapeutic target to counterbalance weight gain, through increased thermogenesis, energy expenditure, and clock gene activation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2415-2427
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 12.2017


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