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J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jul 15;124(2):246-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.04.028. Epub 2009 May 3.

Anti-hypoxic activity of the ethanol extract from Portulaca oleracea in mice.

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  • 1Department of Naval Medicine, Second Military Medical University, 800 Xiangyin Road, Shanghai 200433, PR China.



To investigate the effects of the ethanol extract from Portulaca oleracea (EEPO) on hypoxia models mice and to find the possible mechanism of its anti-hypoxic actions so as to elucidate the anti-hypoxia activity and provide scientific basis for the clinical use of Portulaca oleracea.


EEPO was evaluated on anti-hypoxic activity in several hypoxia mice models, including closed normobaric hypoxia and sodium nitrite or potassium cyanide toxicosis. To verify the possible mechanism(s), we detected the activities of pyruvate kinase (PK), phosphofructokinase (PFK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and the level of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in mice cortices.


Given orally, the EEPO at doses of 100, 200, 400 mg/kg could dose-dependently enhance the survival time of mice in both of the normobaric and chemical hypoxia models. The activity of the glycolysis enzymes and the level of ATP were higher than those of the control. In the pentobarbital sodium-induced sleeping time test and the open-field test, EEPO neither significantly enhanced the pentobarbital sodium-induced sleeping time nor impaired the motor performance, indicating that the observed anti-hypoxic activity was unlikely due to sedation or motor abnormality.


These results demonstrated that the EEPO possessed notable anti-hypoxic activity, which might be related to promoting the activity of the key enzymes in glycolysis and improving the level of ATP in hypoxic mice.

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