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J Recept Signal Transduct Res. 2011 Feb;31(1):39-44. doi: 10.3109/10799893.2010.508164. Epub 2010 Sep 23.

Psoralea corylifolia extracts stimulate cholinergic-like psoralen receptors of tadpole-tail melanophores, leading to skin darkening.

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  • 1Department of Biotechnology, Saifia College of Science and Education, Bhopal, India.


The present work was carried out to determine the effects of lyophilized seed extracts of Psoralea corylifolia along with pure psoralen, its active ingredient on the isolated tail-piece melanophores of Bufo melanostictus, a type of disguised smooth muscle cells, which offer excellent in vitro opportunities for studying the effects of pharmacological and pharmaceutical agents. In the present study, it was found that lyophilized extract of P. corylifolia and its active ingredient psoralen induced powerful, dose-dependent, physiologically significant melanin dispersal effects in the isolated tail melanophores of B. melanostictus, which were completely blocked by atropine as well as hyoscine. The per se melanin dispersal effects of lyophilized extracts of P. corylifolia and its active ingredient psoralen were highly potentiated by neostigmine. It appears that the melanin dispersal effects of the extracts of P. corylifolia and psoralen are mediated by cholino-muscarinic or cholino-psoralen like receptors having similar properties that need to be studied further.

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