Nordihydroguaiaretic acid activates hTRPA1 and modulates behavioral responses to noxious cold in mice

William John Redmond, Maxime Camo, Vanessa A. Mitchell, Christopher Walter Vaughan, Mark Connor

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    Nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) is a major biologically active component of the creosote bush, Larrea tridentate, widely used in unregulated therapies. NDGA is a lipoxygenase inhibitor while a derivative, terameprocol, has been trialed as a chemotherapeutic agent. When investigating fatty acid activation of the human transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily A, member 1 (hTRPA1), we found that NDGA activated the channel. Here we investigate the actions of NDGA and terameprocol at hTRPA1 and the consequences of this for noxious cold sensitivity in mice. hTRPA1 was stably expressed in HEK 293 cells (HEK 293-TRPA1) and channel activity examined by measuring changes in intracellular calcium ([Ca]i) using a fluorescent dye and activation of membrane currents using patch clamp electrophysiology. The effects of local NDGA and terameprocol application on acetone-induced paw flinching were examined in mice. NDGA (pEC50 of 5.4 ± 0.1, maximum change in fluorescence of 385 ± 30%) and terameprocol (pEC50 4.5 ± 0.2, maximum 550 ± 75%) increased [Ca]i in HEK 293-hTRPA1 cells. NDGA also induced an increase in membrane conductance in HEK 293-hTRPA1 cells. These effects were prevented by the TRPA1 antagonist HC-030031, and were dependent on the presence of Cys621, Cys 641, and Cys 665 in hTRPA1. Neither NDGA nor terameprocol alone produced spontaneous pain behaviors in mice after hind paw injection, but both enhanced responses to acetone. NDGA and terameprocol are efficacious activators of TRPA1. NDGA should be used with care to probe lipoxygenase involvement in nociception while TRPA1 activity should be considered when considering use of these drugs in humans.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere00079
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalPharmacology Research & Perspectives
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2014. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • lipoxygenase
    • TRP channel
    • natural products
    • Cancer
    • cold pain

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