Moringin, A Stable Isothiocyanate from Moringa oleifera, Activates the Somatosensory and Pain Receptor TRPA1 Channel In Vitro

Molecules. 2020 Feb 22;25(4):976. doi: 10.3390/molecules25040976.


Moringa oleifera Lam. is a tropical plant widely used in traditional medicines and as a food supplement. It is characterized by the presence of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates; the stable isothiocyanate 4-[(α-l-rhamnosyloxy)benzyl]isothiocyanate (moringin) has been widely studied for its bioactivity as hypoglycemic, antimicrobial, anticancer and in particular for its involvement in nociception and neurogenic pain. Moringa extracts and pure moringin were submitted to in vitro assays with the somatosensory TRPA1 ion channel, proving that moringin is a potent and effective agonist of this receptor involved in nociceptive function and pain states. Moringin do not activate or activates very weakly the vanilloids somatosensory channels TRPV1,2,3 and 4, and the melastatin cooling receptor TRPM8. The comparison of moringin's activity with other known agonists of natural origin is also discussed.

Keywords: Moringa oleifera; TRPA1 ion channel; isothiocyanates; moringin.

MeSH terms

  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Isothiocyanates / chemistry
  • Isothiocyanates / pharmacology*
  • Moringa oleifera / chemistry*
  • Nociceptive Pain / drug therapy*
  • Nociceptive Pain / pathology
  • Nociceptors / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Somatosensory Cortex
  • TRPA1 Cation Channel / antagonists & inhibitors
  • TRPA1 Cation Channel / genetics*
  • TRPM Cation Channels / genetics
  • Transfection


  • Isothiocyanates
  • Plant Extracts
  • TRPA1 Cation Channel
  • TRPM Cation Channels
  • TRPM8 protein, human
  • moringin