Mitragyna speciosa Korth is known for its euphoric properties and is frequently used for recreational purposes. Several poisoning and fatal cases involving mitragynine have been reported but the underlying causes remain unclear. Human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG) encodes the cardiac IKr current which is a determinant of the duration of ventricular action potentials and QT interval. On the other hand, IK1, a Kir current mediated by Kir2.1 channel and IKACh, a receptor-activated Kir current mediated by GIRK channel are also known to be important in maintaining the cardiac function. This study investigated the effects of mitragynine on the current, mRNA and protein expression of hERG channel in hERG-transfected HEK293 cells and Xenopus oocytes. The effects on Kir2.1 and GIRK channels currents were also determined in the oocytes. The hERG tail currents following depolarization pulses were inhibited by mitragynine with an IC50 value of 1.62μM and 1.15μM in the transfected cell line and Xenopus oocytes, respectively. The S6 point mutations of Y652A and F656A attenuated the inhibitor effects of mitragynine, indicating that mitragynine interacts with these high affinity drug-binding sites in the hERG channel pore cavity which was consistent with the molecular docking simulation. Interestingly, mitragynine does not affect the hERG expression at the transcriptional level but inhibits the protein expression. Mitragynine is also found to inhibit IKACh current with an IC50 value of 3.32μM but has no significant effects on IK1. Blocking of both hERG and GIRK channels may cause additive cardiotoxicity risks.
Flecainide suppresses cardiac tachyarrhythmias including paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia and arrhythmic long QT syndromes (LQTS), as well as the Ca2+ -mediated, catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT). However, flecainide can also exert pro-arrhythmic effects most notably following myocardial infarction and when used to diagnose Brugada syndrome (BrS). These divergent actions result from its physiological and pharmacological actions at multiple, interacting levels of cellular organization. These were studied in murine genetic models with modified Nav channel or intracellular ryanodine receptor (RyR2)-Ca2+ channel function. Flecainide accesses its transmembrane Nav 1.5 channel binding site during activated, open, states producing a use-dependent antagonism. Closing either activation or inactivation gates traps flecainide within the pore. An early peak INa related to activation of Nav channels followed by rapid de-activation, drives action potential (AP) upstrokes and their propagation. This is diminished in pro-arrhythmic conditions reflecting loss of function of Nav 1.5 channels, such as BrS, accordingly exacerbated by flecainide challenge. Contrastingly, pro-arrhythmic effects attributed to prolonged AP recovery by abnormal late INaL following gain-of-function modifications of Nav 1.5 channels in LQTS3 are reduced by flecainide. Anti-arrhythmic effects of flecainide that reduce triggering in CPVT models mediated by sarcoplasmic reticular Ca2+ release could arise from its primary actions on Nav channels indirectly decreasing [Ca2+ ]i through a reduced [Na+ ]i and/or direct open-state RyR2-Ca2+ channel antagonism. The consequent [Ca2+ ]i alterations could also modify AP propagation velocity and therefore arrhythmic substrate through its actions on Nav 1.5 channel function. This is consistent with the paradoxical differences between flecainide actions upon Na+ currents, AP conduction and arrhythmogenesis under circumstances of normal and increased RyR2 function.
LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed section on Spotlight on Small Molecules in Cardiovascular Diseases. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v175.8/issuetoc.
Previous studies have shown that systemic administration of 6'-hydroxy-2',4'-dimethoxychalcone (flavokawin B, FKB) exerts significant peripheral and central antinociceptive effects in laboratory animals. However, the mechanisms underlying these peripheral and central antinociceptive effects have yet to be elucidated. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to evaluate the participation of nitric oxide (NO)/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)/potassium (K+) channels pathway in the peripheral antinociception induced by FKB. It was demonstrated that intraplantar (i.pl.) administration of FKB (150, 250, 375 and 500 µg/paw) resulted in dose-dependent peripheral antinociception against mechanical hyperalgesia in carrageenan-induced hyperalgesia test model in rats. The possibility of FKB having either a central or a systemic effect was excluded since administration of FKB into the right paw did not elicit antinociception in the contralateral paw. Furthermore, peripheral antinociception induced by FKB (500 µg/paw) was significantly reduced when L-arginine (25 µg/paw, i.pl.), Oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ; 50 µg/paw, i.pl.), glibenclamide (300 µg/paw, i.pl.), tetraethylammonium (300 µg/paw, i.pl.) and charybdotoxin (3 µg/paw, i.pl.) were injected before treatment. Taken together, our present data suggest that FKB elicits peripheral antinociception when assessed in the mechanical hyperalgesia induced by carrageenan. In addition, it was also demonstrated that this effect was mediated through interaction of the NO/cGMP/K+ channels signaling pathway.
This study investigated the antinociceptive effects of zerumbone in chemical behavioural models of nociception in mice. Zerumbone given through intraperitoneal route (i.p.) produced dose-related antinociception when assessed on acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing test in mice. In addition, the i.p. administration of zerumbone exhibited significant inhibition of the neurogenic pain induced by intraplantar (i.pl.) injection of capsaicin and bradykinin. Likewise, zerumbone given by i.p. route reduced the nociception produced by i.pl. injection of glutamate and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). The antinociception caused by zerumbone in the acetic acid test was significantly attenuated by i.p. pre-treatment of mice with l-arginine (nitric oxide precursor) and glibenclamide (ATP-sensitive K(+) channel inhibitor). However, the antinociception of zerumbone was enhanced by methylene blue (non-specific gyanylyl cyclase inhibitor). Together, these results indicate that zerumbone produces pronounced antinociception against chemical models of nociception in mice. It also strongly suggests that the l-arginine-nitric oxide-cGMP-PKC-K(+) ATP channel pathways, the TRPV1 and kinin B2 receptors play an important role in the zerumbone-induced antinociception.
Muntingia calabura (Elaecoparceae) is a medicinal plant traditionally used, particularly, by the Peruvian people to alleviate headache and cold, pain associated with gastric ulcers or to reduce the prostate gland swelling. Following the recent establishment of antinociceptive activity of M. calabura leaf, the present study was performed to further elucidate on the possible mechanisms of antinociception involved.
The effect of acidosis on insulin-induced relaxation was studied in thoracic aortic rings (from Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats) with (+ED) or without (-ED) endothelium. The rings were mounted in normal (pH 7.4) or acidotic (pH 7.2) Krebs solution for isometric tension recording. Phenylephrine (PE, 3.0 microM)-contracted tissues were exposed to insulin in the presence or absence of various inhibitors. Insulin exerted similar concentration-dependent relaxation of +ED tissues in normal and acidotic pH. Endothelium denudation, significantly (p<0.05) reduced insulin effect in normal, but not acidotic pH. Under normal pH, treatment with L-NAME or methylene blue significantly (p<0.05) reduced insulin responses in the +ED (but not the -ED) tissues. The insulin effect was also significantly (p<0.05) inhibited by tetraethylammonium (TEA; BK(Ca) blocker), 4-Aminopyridine (4-AP; K(V) channel blocker), combined treatments (L-NAME+4-AP+TEA, in +ED tissues) or (4-AP+TEA, in -ED tissues). In either +ED or -ED tissues, indomethacin (cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor), glibenclamide (K(ATP) channel blocker), barium chloride (K(ir) channel blocker) or Ouabain (a Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase inhibitor) had no effect. Except for methylene blue (effect on +ED tissues), none of the drug treatments inhibited insulin vasodilator effect in acidosis (+ED or -ED tissues). These data indicate that insulin exerts an endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilatation in rat aorta which in normal pH is mediated via BK(Ca) and K(v) channels, including the EDNO-cGMP cascade. Acidosis abolishes the endothelium-dependent relaxation mechanism unraveling a novel mechanism that is as efficacious and is cGMP-, but not EDNO-, BK(Ca)- or K(v)-mediated.
Alstonia scholaris has a long history of use in the Ayurveda traditional treatment of various ailments including hypertension. We have reported the blood pressure lowering activity of the extract of A. scholaris. The following research aim to delineate the pharmacological mechanism involve in the antihypertensive action.
Methanolic extract of Clinacanthus nutans Lindau leaves (MECN) has been proven to possess antinociceptive activity that works via the opioid and NO-dependent/cGMP-independent pathways. In the present study, we aimed to further determine the possible mechanisms of antinociception of MECN using various nociceptive assays. The antinociceptive activity of MECN was (i) tested against capsaicin-, glutamate-, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-, bradykinin-induced nociception model; (ii) prechallenged against selective antagonist of opioid receptor subtypes (β-funaltrexamine, naltrindole, and nor-binaltorphimine); (iii) prechallenged against antagonist of nonopioid systems, namely, α2-noradrenergic (yohimbine), β-adrenergic (pindolol), adenosinergic (caffeine), dopaminergic (haloperidol), and cholinergic (atropine) receptors; (iv) prechallenged with inhibitors of various potassium channels (glibenclamide, apamin, charybdotoxin, and tetraethylammonium chloride). The results demonstrated that the orally administered MECN (100, 250, and 500 mg/kg) significantly (p < 0.05) reversed the nociceptive effect of all models in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, the antinociceptive activity of 500 mg/kg MECN was significantly (p < 0.05) inhibited by (i) antagonists of μ-, δ-, and κ-opioid receptors; (ii) antagonists of α2-noradrenergic, β-adrenergic, adenosinergic, dopaminergic, and cholinergic receptors; and (iii) blockers of different K+ channels (voltage-activated-, Ca2+-activated, and ATP-sensitive-K+ channels, resp.). In conclusion, MECN-induced antinociception involves modulation of protein kinase C-, bradykinin-, TRVP1 receptors-, and glutamatergic-signaling pathways; opioidergic, α2-noradrenergic, β-adrenergic, adenosinergic, dopaminergic, and cholinergic receptors; and nonopioidergic receptors as well as the opening of various K+ channels. The antinociceptive activity could be associated with the presence of several flavonoid-based bioactive compounds and their synergistic action with nonvolatile bioactive compounds.