Author(s): Schirrmacher K, Bsselberg D, Langosch JM, Walden J, Winter U,
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Abstract Kava pyrones extracted from pepper Piper methysticum are pharmacologically active compounds. Since kava pyrones exhibit anticonvulsive, analgesic and centrally muscle relaxing properties, the influence of a synthetic kava pyrone, (+/-)-kavain, on voltage-dependent ion channel currents was studied. Effects of (+/-)-kavain on voltage-activated inward currents were analysed in cultured dorsal root ganglion cells derived from neonatal rats. Voltage-activated Ca2+ and Na+ currents were elicited in the whole-cell configuration of the patch clamp technique. Extracellularly applied (+/-)-kavain dissolved in hydrous salt solutions reduced voltage-activated Ca2+ and Na+ channel currents within 3-5 min. As the solubility of (+/-)-kavain in hydrous solutions is low, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) was added to the saline as a solvent for the drug in most experiments. When (+/-)-kavain was dissolved in DMSO, the drug induced a fast and pronounced reduction of both Ca2+ and Na+ currents, which partly recovered within 2-5 min even in the presence of the drug. The present study indicates that (+/-)-kavain reduces currents through voltage-activated Na+ and Ca2+ channels.
This article was published in Eur Neuropsychopharmacol
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry