Gambierol acts as a functional antagonist of neurotoxin site 5 on voltage-gated sodium channels in cerebellar granule neurons

K. T. LePage, J. D. Rainier, H. W.B. Johnson, D. G. Baden, Thomas F. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


The marine toxin gambierol, a polyether ladder toxin derived from the marine dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus toxicus, was evaluated for interaction with voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) in cerebellar granule neuron (CGN) cultures. At concentrations ranging from 10 nM to 10 μM, gambierol alone had no effect on the intracellular Ca2+ concentration [Ca 2+]i of exposed CGN cultures. Furthermore, there was no evidence of neurotoxicity in CGN cultures exposed for 2 h to gambierol (1 nM-10 μM). However, gambierol was a potent inhibitor (IC50 = 189 nM) of the elevation of [Ca2+]i that accompanies exposure of CGN cultures to the VGSC activator brevetoxin-2 (PbTx-2). To further explore the potential interaction of gambierol with VGSCs, the influence of gambierol on PbTx-2-induced neurotoxicity was assessed. Gambierol reduced the PbTx-2-induced efflux of lactate dehydrogenase in exposed CGN cultures in a concentration-dependent manner (IC50 = 471 nM). It is noteworthy that the potencies of gambierol as an inhibitor of both PbTx-2-induced Ca 2+ influx and cytotoxicity were coincident. Finally, the inhibitory effects of gambierol on PbTx-2-induced elevation of [Ca2+] i were compared with those of brevenal, a natural inhibitor of the toxic effects of brevetoxin isolated from cultures of Karina brevis. Like gambierol, brevenal inhibited PbTx-2-induced elevation of [Ca2+] i in a concentration-dependent manner (IC50 = 108.6 nM). These results provide evidence for gambierol acting as a functional antagonist of neurotoxin site 5 on neuronal VGSCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

Cite this