Eugenol dilates rat cerebral arteries by inhibiting smooth muscle cell voltage-dependent calcium channels.

Research paper by Dieniffer D Peixoto-Neves, Jose Henrique JH Leal-Cardoso, Jonathan H JH Jaggar

Indexed on: 13 Jun '14Published on: 13 Jun '14Published in: Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology


Plants high in eugenol, a phenylpropanoid compound, are used as folk medicines to alleviate diseases including hypertension. Eugenol has been demonstrated to relax conduit and ear arteries and reduce systemic blood pressure, but mechanisms involved are unclear. Here, we studied eugenol regulation of resistance-size cerebral arteries that control regional brain blood pressure and flow and investigated mechanisms involved. We demonstrate that eugenol dilates arteries constricted by either pressure or membrane depolarization (60 mM K) in a concentration-dependent manner. Experiments performed using patch-clamp electrophysiology demonstrated that eugenol inhibited voltage-dependent calcium (Ca) currents, when using Ba as a charge carrier, in isolated cerebral artery smooth muscle cells. Eugenol inhibition of voltage-dependent Ca currents involved pore block, a hyperpolarizing shift (∼-10 mV) in voltage-dependent inactivation, an increase in the proportion of steady-state inactivating current, and acceleration of inactivation rate. In summary, our data indicate that eugenol dilates cerebral arteries by means of multimodal inhibition of voltage-dependent Ca channels.