Transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) is a non-selective cation channel that is broadly expressed in different human tissues, including the digestive system, where it acts as a molecular sensor and a transducer that regulates a variety of functional activities. Despite the extensive research to determine the role of this channel in the physiology and pathophysiology of different organs, the unique morphological and functional features of TRPV4 in the esophagus remain largely unknown. Ten years ago, TRPV4 was shown to be highly expressed in esophageal epithelial cells where its activation induces Ca2+-dependent ATP release, which, in turn, mediates several functions, ranging from mechanosensation to wound healing. This review summarizes the research progress on TRPV4, and focuses on the functional expression of TRPV4 in esophageal epithelium and its possible role in different esophageal diseases that would support TRPV4 as a candidate target for future therapeutic approaches to treat patients with these conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas