Mode-selective inhibitory effects of eugenol on the mouse TRPV1 channel

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel is a polymodal receptor in sensory nerves and involved in pain sensation. TRPV1 has at least three distinct activation modes that are selectively induced by different stimuli capsaicin, noxious heat, and protons. Although many mode-selective TRPV1 antagonists have been developed for their anticipated analgesic effects, there have been few successful reports because of adverse effects due to burn injuries and hyperthermia. Eugenol is a vanilloid that has been used as an analgesic in the dental treatment, and its TRPV1 activation ability has been reported. However, our knowledge about the underlying mechanisms of the antagonistic effects of eugenol on TRPV1 activation induced by three different modes is limited. Here, we show that eugenol dose-dependently inhibited the capsaicin-activated inward currents of mouse TRPV1 expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells. Under low pH conditions, low concentrations of eugenol only enhanced the proton-induced TRPV1 currents, whereas high eugenol concentrations initially potentiated but then immediately abrogated TRPV1 currents. Finally, eugenol had no modulatory effects on heat-activated TRPV1 in electrophysiological and Fura-2-based Ca2+ imaging experiments. Our results demonstrate that eugenol is a mode-selective antagonist of TRPV1 and can be evaluated as a lead compound of analgesics targeting TRPV1 without serious side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-162
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 4


  • Analgesic
  • Eugenol
  • Mode-selective inhibitor
  • Pain
  • TRPV1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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