Eugenol, a natural congener of capsaicin, is a routine analgesic agent in dentistry. We have recently demonstrated the inhibition of CaV2.2 calcium channel and sodium channel currents to be molecular mechanisms underlying the analgesic effect of eugenol. We hypothesized that Ca V2.3 channels are also modulated by eugenol and investigated its mode of action using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique in a heterologous expression system. Eugenol inhibited calcium currents in the E52 cell line, stably expressing the human CaV2.3 calcium channels, where TRPV1 is not endogenously expressed. The extent of current inhibition was not significantly different between naïve E52 cells and TRPV1-expressing E52 cells, suggesting no involvement of TRPV1. In contrast, TRPV1 activation is prerequisite for the inhibition of CaV2.3 calcium channels by capsaicin. The results indicate that eugenol has mechanisms distinct from those of capsaicin for modulating CaV2.3 channels. We suggest that inhibition of CaV2.3 channels by eugenol might contribute to its analgesic effect.
- R-type calcium channels
- Voltage-gated calcium channels