Spontaneous L-glutamate release enhancement in rat substantia gelatinosa neurons by (-)-carvone and (+)-carvone which activate different types of TRP channel

Qin Kang, Chang-Yu Jiang, Tsugumi Fujita, Eiichi Kumamoto
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2015 April 10, 459 (3): 498-503
Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the spinal dorsal horn lamina II (substantia gelatinosa; SG), which are involved in the modulation of nociceptive transmission, have not yet been fully examined in property. Activation of the TRP channels by various plant-derived chemicals results in an increase in the spontaneous release of L-glutamate onto the SG neurons. We examined the effects of a monoterpene ketone (-)-carvone (contained in spearmint) and its stereoisomer (+)-carvone (in caraway) on glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory transmission in SG neurons of adult rat spinal cord slices by using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. (-)-Carvone and (+)-carvone increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) in a reversible and concentration-dependent manner with a small increase in its amplitude. Half-maximal effective concentrations of (-)-carvone and (+)-carvone in increasing sEPSC frequency were 0.70 mM and 0.72 mM, respectively. The (-)-carvone but not (+)-carvone activity was inhibited by a TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine. On the other hand, the (+)-carvone but not (-)-carvone activity was inhibited by a TRPA1 antagonist HC-030031. These results indicate that (-)-carvone and (+)-carvone activate TRPV1 and TRPA1 channels, respectively, resulting in an increase in spontaneous L-glutamate release onto SG neurons, with almost the same efficacy. Such a difference in TRP activation between the stereoisomers may serve to know the properties of TRP channels in the SG.

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