What is Oenanthotoxin?

Oenanthotoxin, a highly unsaturated higher alcohol, which has been shown to be a very powerful convulsant in mammals. It is found in all parts of the plant, particularly the roots. As a powerful convulsant, it is applied topically to cat cortex and produces a long-lasting epileptic focus, possibly due to alteration in calcium conductance. Oenanthotoxin (OETX) is known to induce convulsions and epileptic spikes in rat and it caused an irreversible inhibition of loading transfer arid sodium inflow at the nerve fibers of frogs. It is shown that OETX reversibly blocks the action potential and the sodium, potassium and gating currents in frog myelinated nerve fibres. Rabbits and cats given a lethal dose of Oenanthotoxin could be saved by the early administration of barbiturates.