The sodium channel of human excitable cells is a target for gambierol

M. Carmen Louzao, Eva Cagide, Mercedes R. Vieytes, Makoto Sasaki, Haruhiko Fuwa, Takeshi Yasumoto, Luis M. Botana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Gambierol is a polycyclic ether toxin with the same biogenetic origin as ciguatoxins. Gambierol has been associated with neurological symptoms in humans even though its mechanism of action has not been fully characterized. Methods: We studied the effect of gambierol in human neuroblastoma cells by using bis-oxonol to measure membrane potential and FURA-2 to monitor intracellular calcium. Results: We found that this toxin: i) produced a membrane depolarization, ii) potentiated the effect of veratridine on membrane potential iii) decreased ciguatoxin-induced depolarization and iv) increased cytosolic calcium in neuroblastoma cells. Conclusion: These results indicate that gambierol modulate ion fluxes by acting as a partial agonist of sodium channels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-268
Number of pages12
JournalCellular Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Gambierol
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Sodium channel


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