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Pharmaceuticals (Basel) May 26, 2021; 14 (6):

Action of Carvacrol on Parascaris sp. and Antagonistic Effect on Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

Trailovic SM , Rajkovic M , Marjanovic DS , Neveu C , Charvet CL .

Parascaris sp. is the only ascarid parasitic nematode in equids and one of the most threatening infectious organisms in horses. Only a limited number of compounds are available for treatment of horse helminthiasis, and Parascaris sp. worms have developed resistance to the three major anthelmintic families. In order to overcome the appearance of resistance, there is an urgent need for new therapeutic strategies. The active ingredients of herbal essential oils are potentially effective antiparasitic drugs. Carvacrol is one of the principal chemicals of essential oil from Origanum, Thymus, Coridothymus, Thymbra, Satureja and Lippia herbs. However, the antiparasitic mode of action of carvacrol is poorly understood. Here, the objective of the work was to characterize the activity of carvacrol on Parascaris sp. nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) function both in vivo with the use of worm neuromuscular flap preparations and in vitro with two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology on nAChRs expressed in Xenopus oocytes. We developed a neuromuscular contraction assay for Parascaris body flaps and obtained acetylcholine concentration-dependent contraction responses. Strikingly, we observed that 300 µM carvacrol fully and irreversibly abolished Parascaris sp. muscle contractions elicited by acetylcholine. Similarly, carvacrol antagonized acetylcholine-induced currents from both the nicotine-sensitive AChR and the morantel-sensitive AChR subtypes. Thus, we show for the first time that body muscle flap preparation is a tractable approach to investigating the pharmacology of Parascaris sp. neuromuscular system. Our results suggest an intriguing mode of action for carvacrol, being a potent antagonist of muscle nAChRs of Parascaris sp. worms, which may account for its antiparasitic potency.

PubMed ID: 34073197
PMC ID: PMC8226574
Article link: Pharmaceuticals (Basel)

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