Carvacrol modulates voltage-gated sodium channels kinetics in dorsal root ganglia

Joca HC, Vieira DC, Vasconcelos AP, Araújo DA, Cruz JS
European Journal of Pharmacology, 2015


Recent studies have shown that many of plant-derived compounds interact with specific ion channels and thereby modulate many sensing mechanisms, such as nociception. The monoterpenoid carvacrol (5-isopropyl-2-methylphenol) has an anti-nociceptive effect related to a reduction in neuronal excitability and voltage-gated Na(+) channels (NaV) inhibition in peripheral neurons. However, the detailed mechanisms of carvacrol-induced inhibition of neuronal NaV remain elusive. This study explores the interaction between carvacrol and NaV in isolated dorsal root ganglia neurons. Carvacrol reduced the total voltage-gated Na(+) current and tetrodotoxin-resistant (TTX-R) Na(+) current component in a concentration-dependent manner. Carvacrol accelerates current inactivation and induced a negative-shift in voltage-dependence of steady-state fast inactivation in total and TTX-R Na(+) current. Furthermore, carvacrol slowed the recovery from inactivation. Carvacrol provoked a leftward shift in both the voltage-dependence of steady-state inactivation and activation of the TTX-R Na(+) current component. In addition, carvacrol-induced inhibition of TTX-R Na(+) current was enhanced by an increase in stimulation frequency and when neurons were pre-conditioned with long depolarization pulse (5s at -50 mV). Taken all results together, we herein demonstrated that carvacrol affects NaV gating properties. The present findings would help to explain the mechanisms underlying the analgesic activity of carvacrol.


Joca HC, Vieira DC, Vasconcelos AP, et al. Carvacrol modulates voltage-gated sodium channels kinetics in dorsal root ganglia. Eur J Pharmacol. 2015;756:22-29.

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