The phenanthrene-derivative 9-phenanthrol is a recently identified inhibitor of the transient receptor potential melastatin (TRPM) 4 channel, a Ca(2+) -activated non-selective cation channel whose mechanism of action remains to be determined. Subsequent studies performed on other ion channels confirm the specificity of the drug for TRPM4. In addition, 9-phenanthrol modulates a variety of physiological processes through TRPM4 current inhibition and thus exerts beneficial effects in several pathological conditions. 9-Phenanthrol modulates smooth muscle contraction in bladder and cerebral arteries, affects spontaneous activity in neurons and in the heart, and reduces lipopolysaccharide-induced cell death. Among promising potential applications, 9-phenanthrol exerts cardioprotective effects against ischaemia-reperfusion injuries and reduces ischaemic stroke injuries. In addition to reviewing the biophysical effects of 9-phenanthrol, here we present information about its appropriate use in physiological studies and possible clinical applications.
Keywords: 9-phenanthrol; NSCCa; TRPM4; calcium-activated non-selective cation channel; cardioprotection.
© 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.