Geraniol targets K1.3 ion channel and exhibits anti-inflammatory activity in vitro and in vivo.
Fitoterapia. 2019 Nov ;139:104394. Epub 2019 Oct 25. PMID: 31669719
Naturally occurring monoterpenes are known for their various pharmacological activities including anti-inflammation. K1.3 ion channel is a voltage-gated potassium channel and has been validated as a drug target for autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases like psoriasis. Here we experimentally test the direct interaction between monoterpenes and K1.3 ion channel. Our electrophysiological analysis determined that monoterpenes (geraniol, nerol,β-citronellol, citral and linalool) have inhibitory effects on K1.3 ion channel. Representatively, geraniol reversibly blocked K1.3 currents in a voltage-dependent manner with an ICof 490.50 ± 1.04 μM at +40 mV in HEK293T cells. At the effective concentrations, geraniol also inhibited cytokine secretion of activated human T cells, including IL-2, TNF-α and IFN-γ. In an imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like animal model, geraniol administration significantly reduced psoriasis area and severity index scores, ameliorated the deteriorating histopathology and decreased the degree of splenomegaly. Together, our findings not only suggest that monoterpenes may serve as lead molecules for the development of K1.3 inhibitors, but also indicate that geraniol could be considered as a promising therapeutic candidate to treat autoimmune diseases.