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J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Sep 28;143(2):441-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.06.016. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Effect of the flavonoid fraction of Lithocarpus polystachyus Rehd. on spontaneously hypertensive and normotensive rats.

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  • 1School of Chinese Pharmaceutical Science, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, University Town, Guangzhou 510006, China.

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:

Lilhocarpus polystachys Rehd. (Sweet Tea, ST) is a folk herbal medicine that has been traditionally used as a natural remedy for hypertension in China, whose mechanism remains unveiled. Flavonoid fraction is considered as the major active components in ST. This study aimed to provide experimental evidence for the anti-hypertension activity of flavonoid fraction of ST (ST-F) and investigate the underlying mechanism. The effect of ST-F on the blood pressure of normotensive rats was also to be determined.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) were treated with ST-F daily for 10 weeks. Blood pressure of SHRs was measured before and biweekly during ST-F treatment. Subsequently, animals were sacrificed either immediately at the end of treatment or 2 weeks after ST-F treatment discontinuance. The activities of plasma rennin (PRA), angiotensin II (Ang-I), endothelin (ET), nitric oxide (NO), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) were measured as well as skin microcirculatory flux. In normotensive rats, blood pressure was determined after six months' treatment of ST-F.

RESULTS:

ST-F treatment significantly reduced the blood pressure of SHRs along with decreasing plasma levels of PRA and Ang II. ST-F did not show obvious effects on plasma levels of ET, NO or SOD, but it significantly decreased the plasma level of MDA and improved skin microcirculatory flux. Compared to the anti-hypertensive drug enalapril, ST-F showed a modest effect on lowering blood pressure of SHRs without obvious withdrawal reactions. But long-term intake of ST-F did not change the blood pressure in normotensive rats.

CONCLUSION:

ST-F had an antihypertensive effect on SHRs. The underlying mechanism could be related to modulation on the rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and antioxidation system, as well as regulation of skin microcirculation. Compared to its anti-hypertensive effect on SHRs, ST-F did not cause hypotension in normotensive rats. The results indicated that ST-F could potentially be used as natural drugs or functional foods for preventing hypertension.

Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

PMID:
22820240
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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