Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 143–149 | Cite as

The influence of apigenin on membrane and action potential in the liverwort Conocephalum conicum

  • Bożena Pawlikowska-PawlęgaEmail author
  • Elżbieta Król
  • Kazimierz Trębacz
  • Antoni Gawron
Original Paper


Apigenin (4′,5,7-trixydroxyflavone) is a member of the family of plant flavonoids considered to prevent a number of human diseases, for instance cancer development. It displays a lot of activities and part of its beneficial effects could come from its affinity to the cellular membranes. In the present study we used the liverwort Conocephalum conicum, a model plant in electrophysiological study. Intracellular microelectrode measurements were carried out to examine the effects of apigenin alone and in combination with verapamil on the resting and action potentials. The application of apigenin caused an increase of action potential amplitudes. An increase even by 110–131% with respect to the control was observed. Little increase was also found in the membrane potentials in apigenin treated plants. Verapamil, the known calcium channel inhibitor, caused gradual decline of AP amplitudes. When apigenin was used simultaneously with verapamil, still high APs were observed. Duration of action potentials amplitudes measuerd at a half of the amplitude decreased in either apigenin or apigenin and verapamil treated plants to 56–62% of the control. It is concluded that apigenin strongly affects the membranes and prevents inhibitory effect of verapamil probably interacting with calcium channel protein.


Conocephalum conicum Action potentials Membrane potential Flavonoids Apigenin Verapamil Calcium channels 

List of abbreviations


Action potential


Dimethyl sulfoxide


Membrane potential


(2-[N-morpholino]ethanesulfonic acid)




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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bożena Pawlikowska-Pawlęga
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elżbieta Król
    • 2
  • Kazimierz Trębacz
    • 2
  • Antoni Gawron
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Comparative Anatomy and AnthropologyMaria Curie-Sklodowska UniversityLublinPoland
  2. 2.Department of BiophysicsMaria Curie-Sklodowska UniversityLublinPoland

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