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Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2006 Dec;33(12):1158-63.

Essential oil of croton nepetaefolius and its main constituent, 1,8-cineole, block excitability of rat sciatic nerve in vitro.

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1
Laboratory of Electrophysiology, Superior Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Campus Itaperi, Ceará State University, Ceará, Brazil.

Abstract

1. The effects of the essential oil of Croton nepetaefolius (EOCN) and its major constituent, 1,8-cineole, on the compound action potential (CAP) of nerve were investigated. 2. Experiments were performed in sciatic nerves dissected from Wistar rats, mounted in a moist chamber and stimulated at a frequency of 0.2 Hz, with electric pulses of 100 micros duration at 20-40 V. Evoked CAP were displayed on an oscilloscope and recorded on a computer. The CAP control parameters were as follows: peak-to-peak amplitude 8.1 +/- 0.6 mV (n = 15); conduction velocity 83.3 +/- 4.2 m/s (n = 15); chronaxie 58.0 +/- 6.8 msec (n = 6); and rheobase 2.8 +/- 0.1 V (n = 6). 3. Lower concentrations of EOCN (100 and 300 microg/mL) and 1,8-cineole (153 and 307 microg/mL; i.e. 1 and 2 mmol/L, respectively) had no significant effects on CAP control parameters throughout the entire recording period. However, at the end of 180 min exposure of the nerve to the drug, peak-to-peak amplitude was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced to 27.4 +/- 6.7 and 1.7 +/- 0.8% of control values by 500 and 1000 microg/mL EOCN, respectively (n = 6), and to 76.5 +/- 4.4, 70.0 +/- 3.9 and 14.8 +/- 4.1% of control values by 614, 920 and 1227 microg/mL (i.e. 4, 6 and 8 mmol/L) 1,8-cineole, respectively (n = 6). Regarding conduction velocity, at the end of the 180 min exposure period, this parameter was significantly reduced to 85.8 +/- 7.3 and 48.7 +/- 12.3% (n = 6) of control values by 500 and 1000 microg/mL EOCN, respectively, and to 86.4 +/- 4.5 and 76.1 +/- 5.2% (n = 6) by 920 and 1227 microg/mL 1,8-cineole, respectively. Chronaxie and rheobase were significantly increased by the higher concentrations of both EOCN and 1,8-cineole. 4. It is concluded that EOCN and its main constituent 1,8-cineole block nerve excitability in a concentration-dependent manner, an effect that was totally reversible with 1,8-cineole but not with EOCN. This suggests that other constituents of EOCN, in addition to 1,8-cineole, may contribute to the mediation of this effect of EOCN.

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