Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channels are non-selective cationic polymodal receptors gated by several different chemical and physical stimuli. TRPV1 receptors are distributed in several brain areas and interact with important neurotransmitter systems linked to mental disorders, such as endocannabinoid and opioid systems. The increasing number of results obtained in this field has recently attracted growing attention to these receptors as potential targets for the treatment of different psychiatric conditions. To review the available results on this topic, we searched on the PubMed database up to May 2020 using the following search string: “TRPV1”, thus including a total of 48 studies. The results, still limited to preclinical studies, suggest that TRPV1 antagonism could represent a potential mechanism for the treatment of depression and anxiety, as well as for opioids, methamphetamine and cocaine addiction. Few available results consider schizophrenia-like behaviours, suggesting an intriguing role of TRPV1 receptors in the neurobiology of major psychoses. Single studies report the effectiveness of TRPV1 antagonists in animal models of obsessive-compulsive disorder and fibromyalgia. Future preclinical and clinical studies are required to shed further light on the feasibility of the use of TRPV1 modulators in psychopharmacology.
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