Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are remarkable transmembrane protein complexes that are essential for the physiology of the tissues in which they are expressed. They function as non-selective cation channels allowing for the signal transduction of several chemical, physical and thermal stimuli and modifying cell function. These channels play pivotal roles in the nervous and reproductive systems, kidney, pancreas, lung, bone, intestine, among others.
TRP channels are finely modulated by different mechanisms: regulation of their function and/or by control of their expression or cellular/subcellular localization. These mechanisms are subject to being affected by several endogenously-produced compounds, some of which are of a lipidic nature such as steroids.
Fascinatingly, steroids and TRP channels closely interplay to modulate several physiological events. Certain TRP channels are affected by the typical genomic long-term effects of steroids but others are also targets for non-genomic actions of some steroids that act as direct ligands of these receptors, as will be reviewed here.