Menthol acts as a positive allosteric modulator on nematode levamisole sensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

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Choudhary, Shivani
Marjianović, Djordje
Wong, Colin
Zhang, Xiaoyu
Abongwa, Melanie
Trailović, Saša
Martin, Richard
Robertson, Alan
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Coats, Joel
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
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Biomedical Sciences

The Department of Biomedical Sciences aims to provide knowledge of anatomy and physiology in order to understand the mechanisms and treatment of animal diseases. Additionally, it seeks to teach the understanding of drug-action for rational drug-therapy, as well as toxicology, pharmacodynamics, and clinical drug administration.

The Department of Biomedical Sciences was formed in 1999 as a merger of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology.

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  • College of Veterinary Medicine (parent college)
  • Department of Veterinary Anatomy (predecessor, 1997)
  • Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology (predecessor, 1997)

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The Department of Entomology seeks to teach the study of insects, their life-cycles, and the practicalities in dealing with them, for use in the fields of business, industry, education, and public health. The study of entomology can be applied towards evolution and ecological sciences, and insects’ relationships with other organisms & humans, or towards an agricultural or horticultural focus, focusing more on pest-control and management.

The Department of Entomology was founded in 1975 as a result of the division of the Department of Zoology and Entomology.

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The ongoing and widespread emergence of resistance to the existing anti-nematodal pharmacopeia has made it imperative to develop new anthelminthic agents. Historically, plants have been important sources of therapeutic compounds and offer an alternative to synthetic drugs. Monoterpenoids are phytochemicals that have been shown to produce acute toxic effects in insects and nematodes. Previous studies have shown nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) to be possible targets for naturally occurring plant metabolites such as carvacrol and carveol. In this study we examined the effects of monoterpenoid compounds on a levamisole sensitive nAChR from Oesophagostomum dentatum and a nicotine sensitive nAChR from Ascaris suum. We expressed the receptors in Xenopus laevis oocytes and used two-electrode voltage-clamp to characterize the effect of various compounds on these cys-loop receptors. At 100 μM the majority of these compounds acted as antagonists. Interestingly, further experiments revealed that both 0.1 μM and 10 μM menthol potentiated acetylcholine and levamisole responses in the levamisole sensitive receptor but not the nicotine sensitive receptor. We also investigated the effects of 0.1 μM menthol on the contractility of A. suum somatic muscle strips. Menthol produced significant potentiation of peak contractions at each concentration of acetylcholine. The positive allosteric modulatory effects of menthol in both in vivo and in vitro experiments suggests menthol as a promising candidate for combination therapy with cholinergic anthelmintics.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Choudhary, Shivani, Djordje S. Marjianović, Colin R. Wong, Xiaoyu Zhang, Melanie Abongwa, Joel R. Coats, Saša M. Trailović, Richard J. Martin, and Alan P. Robertson. "Menthol acts as a positive allosteric modulator on nematode levamisole sensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptors." International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance (2018). doi: 10.1016/j.ijpddr.2018.12.005.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2018