Open Heart 2015;2(1):e000262. Epub 2015 Jun 17.
Mid America Heart Institute, St. Luke's Hospital , Kansas City, Missouri , USA.
Capsaicin, the phytochemical responsible for the spiciness of peppers, has the potential to modulate metabolism via activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) receptors, which are found not only on nociceptive sensory neurons, but also in a range of other tissues. TRPV1 activation induces calcium influx, and in certain tissues this is associated with increased activation or expression of key proteins such as endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2), KLF2, PPARdelta, PPARgamma, and LXRα. The calcium influx triggered by TRPV1 activation in endothelial cells mimics the impact of shear stress in this regard, activating and increasing the expression of eNOS-but also increasing expression of cox-2, thrombomodulin, and nrf2-responsive antioxidant enzymes, while decreasing expression of proinflammatory proteins. Read More