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Farmaco. 2001 May-Jul;56(5-7):387-9.

Local anaesthetic activity of beta-caryophyllene.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Florence, Italy.


In this work we studied the local anaesthetic activity of beta-caryophyllene, one of the main components of clove oil obtained from the dried flower-buds of Syzygium aromaticum (Myrtaceae family). We compared its activity to a chemically related compound, caryophyllene oxide. Anaesthetic activity was evaluated in vivo in the rabbit conjunctival reflex test and in vitro in a rat phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm preparation. Beta-caryophyllene (10(-4) - 1 microg/ml), but not caryophyllene oxide, was able to reduce drastically, in a dose-dependent manner, the electrically evoked contractions of the rat phrenic hemidiaphragm. In the rabbit, conjunctival reflex test treatment with a solution of beta-caryophyllene (10-1000 microg/ml) allowed a dose-dependent increase in the number of stimuli necessary to provoke the reflex. As in the in vitro results, caryophyllene oxide was ineffective also in the in vivo test. In conclusion, these data evidence the local anaesthetic activity of beta-caryophyllene, which appears to be strictly dependent on its chemical structure.

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