Eugenol is a phenylpropene obtained from the essential oils of plants such as clove and basil which has ample use in dentistry. Eugenol possesses analgesic effects that may be related to the inhibition of voltage-dependent Na+ channels and/or to the activation of TRPV1 receptors or both. In the present study, electrophysiological parameters were taken from the compound action potentials of the isolated rat sciatic nerve and from neurons of the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) impaled with sharp microelectrodes under current-clamp conditions. In the isolated rat sciatic nerve, eugenol inhibited the compound action potential in a concentration-dependent manner. Action potentials recorded from SCG neurons were inhibited by eugenol with an IC50 of 0.31 mM. At high concentrations (2 mM), during brief applications, eugenol caused significant action potential blockade while it did not interfere with the resting membrane potential or the membrane input resistance. Surprisingly, however, at low eugenol concentrations (0.6 mM), during long time applications, a reversible reduction (by about 50%) in the input membrane resistance was observed, suggesting the possible involvement of a secondary delayed effect of eugenol to reduce neuronal excitability.
- Conventional current-clamp
- Essential oil
- Rat sciatic nerve
- Rat superior cervical ganglion
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