Planta Med 1991; 57(2): 99-101
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-960040

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Action of Calycanthine on Nervous Transmission in Cockroach Central Nervous System

Y. Adjibadé1 , B. Hue2 , M. Pelhate2 , R. Anton1
  • 1Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université Louis Pasteur, F-6700 Strasbourg, France
  • 2Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie, URA CNRS 611, Faculté de Médecine, Université d'Angers, F-49100 Angers, France
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Publication History


Publication Date:
05 January 2007 (online)


Calycanthine, the principal alkaloid of the order Calycanthaceae, has been isolated from a species of the genus Psychotria (Rubiaceae) occurring in some Pacific islands. The drug is considered as a very powerful convulsant poison but very little is known about its mechanism of action. The symptoms observed were similar to those of some neuropoisons such as strychnine. The properties of this alkaloid have been investigated on the genesis, conduction, and transmission of the nerve impulse, using giant axons of the cockroach (Periplaneta americana). Calycanthine hydrochloride (10-5M), which did not alter nervous conduction in pre-and post-synaptic fibers, significantly reduced the efficacy of the synaptic transmission.