The in vitro effect of asarone, the nematocidal principle of the rhizome of Acorus calamus, on second-stage larvae of Toxocara canis is composed of two independent actions : one is a fast acting inhibition of the larval mobility and the other is a slow acting larvicidal action. Mobility of the larvae was rapidly inhibited when they were incubated with asarone. Dye exclusion assay revealed that larvae were alive at this stage, and their mobility was restored after the first inhibition, suggesting that this effect was temporary and reversible. However, when the mobility decreased again during prolonged incubation, the cellular viability of larvae disappeared, showing that they were killed by the compound. The above two-stage effect of asarone was almost identical in two geometrical isomers ((E)- and (Z)- asarone). Di- and tri-methoxypropenyl or propylbenzenes carrying two methoxy groups at a vicinal position on a benzene ring showed, more or less, a two-stage effect of this type. These two actions were suggested to be separable by an appropriate modification of the structure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmaceutical Science