Document Type


Publication Date



In this study, effects of capsaicin, an active ingredient of the capsicum plant, were investigated on human 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptors. Capsaicin reversibly inhibited serotonin (5-HT)-induced currents recorded by two-electrode voltage clamp method in Xenopus oocytes. The inhibition was time- and concentration-dependent with an IC50 = 62 μM. The effect of capsaicin was not altered in the presence of capsazepine, and by intracellular BAPTA injections or trans-membrane potential changes. In radio-ligand binding studies, capsaicin did not change the specific binding of the 5-HT3 antagonist [3H]GR65630, indicating that it is a noncompetitive inhibitor of 5-HT3 receptor. In HEK-293 cells, capsaicin inhibited 5-HT3 receptor induced aequorin luminescence with an IC50 of 54 µM and inhibition was not reversed by increasing concentrations of 5-HT. In conclusion, the results indicate that capsaicin acts as a negative allosteric modulator of human 5-HT3 receptors.


This article was originally published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, volume 11, in 2020.


The authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.