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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 703848, 9 pages
Research Article

Monoterpenoid Terpinen-4-ol Exhibits Anticonvulsant Activity in Behavioural and Electrophysiological Studies

1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biotecnologia, Rede Nordeste de Biotecnologia (RENORBIO), Caixa Postal 5009, 58051-900 João Pessoa, PB, Brazil
2Unidade Acadêmica de Tecnologia do Desenvolvimento, Centro de Desenvolvimento Sustentável do Semiárido, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, 58540-000 Sumé, PB, Brazil
3Laboratório de Psicofarmacologia, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Caixa Postal 5009, 58051-900 João Pessoa, PB, Brazil
4Departamento de Fisiologia e Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, 97105-900 Santa Maria, RS, Brazil
5Laboratório de Eletrofisiologia, Instituto Superior de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Estadual do Ceará, Campus do Itaperi, 60740-000 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
6Departamento de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, 58051-900 João Pessoa, PB, Brazil
7Departamento de Fisiologia e Patologia, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, 58051-900 João Pessoa, PB, Brazil

Received 12 May 2014; Revised 8 July 2014; Accepted 8 July 2014; Published 10 August 2014

Academic Editor: Rivelilson Mendes De Freitas

Copyright © 2014 Franklin F. F. Nóbrega et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Terpinen-4-ol (4TRP) is a monoterpenoid alcoholic component of essential oils obtained from several aromatic plants. We investigated the psychopharmacological and electrophysiological activities of 4TRP in male Swiss mice and Wistar rats. 4TRP was administered intraperitoneally (i.p.) at doses of 25 to 200 mg/kg and intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) at concentrations of 10, 20, and 40 ng/2 μL. For in vitro experiments, 4TRP concentrations were 0.1 mM and 1.0 mM. 4TRP (i.p.) inhibited pentylenetetrazol- (PTZ-) induced seizures, indicating anticonvulsant effects. Electroencephalographic recordings showed that 4TRP (i.c.v.) protected against PTZ-induced seizures, corroborating the behavioural results. To determine whether 4TRP exerts anticonvulsant effects via regulation of GABAergic neurotransmission, we measured convulsions induced by 3-mercapto-propionic acid (3-MP). The obtained results showed involvement of the GABAergic system in the anticonvulsant action exerted by 4TRP, but flumazenil, a selective antagonist of the benzodiazepine site of the receptor, did not reverse the anticonvulsant effect, demonstrating that 4TRP does not bind to the benzodiazepine-binding site. Furthermore, 4TRP decreased the sodium current through voltage-dependent sodium channels, and thus its anticonvulsant effect may be related to changes in neuronal excitability because of modulation of these channels.