Thermoregulatory effects of resiniferatoxin in the mouse: comparison with capsaicin

Life Sci. 1989;44(11):711-5. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(89)90382-2.


Resiniferatoxin, an extremely irritant diterpene present in several members of the genus Euphorbia, produced an 8 C decrease in the rectal temperature of mice with an effective dose in the range of 2-20 micrograms/kg. The structurally related natural product capsaicin produced a similar magnitude of fall in body temperature, albeit with 1000-fold lower potency. Tolerance to the hypothermic effects of both compounds readily developed and cross-tolerance between the compounds was observed. The extreme potency of resiniferatoxin should facilitate biochemical analysis of the mechanism of action of this class of compounds.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Temperature / drug effects*
  • Capsaicin / administration & dosage
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology*
  • Diterpenes / administration & dosage
  • Diterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Female
  • Mice


  • Diterpenes
  • resiniferatoxin
  • Capsaicin