Nepetalactone

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Nepetalactone
Nepetalactone chemical structure.png
Identifiers
CAS number 490-10-8 YesY
PubChem 161367
ChemSpider 141747 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Properties
Molecular formula C10H14O2
Molar mass 166.22 g mol−1
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 YesY (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Infobox references

Nepetalactone is an organic compound, first isolated from the catnip (Nepeta cataria), which acts as a cat attractant. Nepetalactone is bicyclic monoterpenoid, i.e., it is a ten-carbon compound derived from isoprene with two fused rings: a cyclopentane and a lactone. It belongs to the class of iridoids. The structure and the effects of the compound are similar to those of valepotriates. A number of isomers of nepetalactone are known.[1]

Nepetalactone was first reported in 1941 after it was isolated by steam distillation of catnip.[2]

The compound is also present in the wood of tartarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), shavings of which are often used in cat toys.

Effects on animals[edit]

4aα,7α,7aα-Nepetalactone is the active isomer in Nepeta cataria and has a characteristic effect on cats. Around 80% of cats are affected;[3] susceptibility is gene-linked. The chemical interacts as a vapor at the olfactory epithelium.[citation needed]

Nepetalactone has effects on some insects: it repels cockroaches and mosquitos.[4][5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robert B. Bates and Carl W. Sigel (1963). "Terpenoids. Cis-trans- and trans-cis-Nepetalactones". Experientia 19: 564. 
  2. ^ Samuel M. McElvain, R. D. Bright and P. R. Johnson (1941). "The Constituents of the Volatile Oil of Catnip. I. Nepetalic Acid, Nepetalactone and Related Compounds". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 63 (6): 1558–1563. doi:10.1021/ja01851a019. 
  3. ^ Turner, Ramona (2007-05-29). "How does catnip work its magic on cats?". 
  4. ^ Kingsley, Danny (September 3, 2001). "Catnip sends mozzies flying". ABC Science Online. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  5. ^ "The Cats Might Bite Harder Than the Mosquitoes". ENS / Ameriscan. August 28, 2001. Retrieved 2012-09-01.  (scroll down page to last article)
  6. ^ "Catnip and Catnip Effects".