(-)-Hardwickiic Acid and Hautriwaic Acid Induce Antinociception via Blockade of Tetrodotoxin-Sensitive Voltage-Dependent Sodium Channels

Song Cai, Shreya S. Bellampalli, Jie Yu, Wennan Li, Yingshi Ji, E. M.Kithsiri Wijeratne, Angie Dorame, Shizhen Luo, Zhiming Shan, May Khanna, Aubin Moutal, John M. Streicher, A. A.Leslie Gunatilaka, Rajesh Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


For an affliction that debilitates an estimated 50 million adults in the United States, the current chronic pain management approaches are inadequate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called for a minimization in opioid prescription and use for chronic pain conditions, and thus, it is imperative to discover alternative non-opioid based strategies. For the realization of this call, a library of natural products was screened in search of pharmacological inhibitors of both voltage-gated calcium channels and voltage-gated sodium channels, which are excellent targets due to their well-established roles in nociceptive pathways. We discovered (-)-hardwickiic acid ((-)-HDA) and hautriwaic acid (HTA) isolated from plants, Croton californicus and Eremocarpus setigerus, respectively, inhibited tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium, but not calcium or potassium, channels in small diameter, presumptively nociceptive, dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Failure to inhibit spontaneous postsynaptic excitatory currents indicated a preferential targeting of voltage-gated sodium channels over voltage-gated calcium channels by these extracts. Neither compound was a ligand at opioid receptors. Finally, we identified the potential of both (-)-HDA and HTA to reverse chronic pain behavior in preclinical rat models of HIV-sensory neuropathy, and for (-)-HDA specifically, in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Our results illustrate the therapeutic potential for (-)-HDA and HTA for chronic pain management and could represent a scaffold, that, if optimized by structure-activity relationship studies, may yield novel specific sodium channel antagonists for pain relief.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1716-1728
Number of pages13
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 20 2019


  • (-)-hardwickiic acid
  • HIV-associated sensory neuropathy
  • Natural products
  • chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
  • hautriwaic acid
  • non-opioid
  • voltage-gated sodium channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of '(-)-Hardwickiic Acid and Hautriwaic Acid Induce Antinociception via Blockade of Tetrodotoxin-Sensitive Voltage-Dependent Sodium Channels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this