Effects of (±)-kavain on voltage-activated inward currents of dorsal root ganglion cells from neonatal rats

K. Schirrmacher, D. Büsselberg, J. M. Langosch, J. Walden, U. Winter, D. Bingmann

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Kava pyrones extracted from pepper Piper methysticum are pharmacologically active compounds. Since kava pyrones exhibit anticonvulsive, analgesic and centrally muscle relaxing properties, the influence of a synthetic kava pyrone, (±)-kavain, on voltage-dependent ion channel currents was studied. Effects of (±)-kavain on voltage-activated inward currents were analysed in cultured dorsal root ganglion cells derived from neonatal rats. Voltage-activated Ca2+ and Na+ currents were elicited in the whole-cell configuration of the patch clamp technique. Extracellularly applied (±)-kavain dissolved in hydrous salt solutions reduced voltage-activated Ca2+ and Na+ channel currents within 3-5 min. As the solubility of (±)-kavain in hydrous solutions is low, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) was added to the saline as a solvent for the drug in most experiments. When (±)-kavain was dissolved in DMSO, the drug induced a fast and pronounced reduction of both Ca2+ and Na+ currents, which partly recovered within 2-5 min even in the presence of the drug. The present study indicates that (±)-kavain reduces currents through voltage-activated Na+ and Ca2+ channels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-176
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


  • (±)-Kavain
  • Calcium channels
  • Na channels
  • Sensory spinal ganglion cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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